Background and aims: Thalassemia is one of the most prevalent hematologic disorders worldwide. Thalassemia is the most common inherited anemia and genetic disease. Diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance is one of the major endocrine problems in major thalassemia patients. This study was done to evaluate the association of serum γ- interferon and IL-10 concentrations with insulin resistance in splenectomized and non-splenectomized major thalassemia patients.
Methods: 193 thalassemia patients with rang of years old participated in this study. IFN-γ and IL-10 levels were measured using ELISA method. Insulin resistance was measured using HOMA-IR method. Data was analyzed with SPSS software by Pair T test.
Results: the mean age of splenectomized patients in this study was 8.86±7.03 and non- splenectomized patients 7.88±2.39 years. There were significant and inverse associations between serum IL-10 levels and insulin resistance was found in non-splenectomized major thalassemia patients (P=0.002). There were not a significant association between serum IL-10 levels and insulin resistance in splenectomized major thalassemia patients (P=0.079). There were not a significant association between serum γ- interferon levels and insulin resistance in splenectomized major thalassemia patients (P=0.778). There were not significant associations between serum γ- interferon levels and insulin resistance in non- splenectomized major thalassemia patients (P=0.435).
Conclusion: In this study, interferon-gamma as an inflammatory cytokine and interlukin-10 as an anti-inflammatory cytokines was studied. Overall these results suggest that interleukin-10 is associated with insulin resistance in non-splenectomized major thalassemia patients and as an anti-inflammatory cytokine may play an important role in sustaining insulin resistance in non-splenectomized major thalassemia patients. With increase in serum IL-10 levels there is a decline in insulin resistance. This data provide new insights into the mechanisms of insulin resistance and support the use of other cytokines with insuln resistance in major thalassemia patients.
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