Changes in blood levels of IL1 family cytokines in patients with essential hypertension after having COVID-19
Pathogenetic progression mechanisms in the SARS-CoV-2–essential hypertension (EAH) system are more complex than interaction at the level of angiotensinconverting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The study was aimed to assess the dynamic changes of the IL1 members (IL1β, IL1α, IL1ra, IL18, IL18BP, IL37) blood levels in patients with EAH 10, 30, and 180 days after having COVID-19 in order to define cytokine-mediated mechanisms of EAH progression during the period following infection. The study involved four groups of patients: with a history of EAH and COVID-19 (pneumonia/no pneumonia), with a history of COVID-19 (pneumonia/no pneumonia) and no EAH. Cytokine levels were determined by enzyme immunoassay. The study results demonstrate the prolonged proinflammatory immune response during the period following infection in patients with EAH (retaining higher levels of IL1β, IL1α, and IL18 on days 10, 30, and 180 after recovery (р < 0.001) compared to levels measured prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection). In the group with no EAH, the balance of assayed cytokines was restored on day 30 of follow-up. The two-fold increase of blood IL18 levels in patients, having a history of EAH and COVID-19 and showing no increase in the IL18ВР levels after 30 days of follow up compared to the values measured prior to infection, is associated with cardiovascular complications occurring during the first six months of follow-up. This makes it possible to hypothesize the importance of these immunoregulatory peptides for the pathogenesis of complications and enhances the relevance of further scientific research.