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High Serum Progranulin Levels in COVID-19 Patients: A Pilot Study

Fatma B. Özgeriş1,a*, Ömer F. Koçak2,b, Nezahat Kurt3,c, Emine Parlak4,d, Neslihan Yüce5,e, and Mevlüt S. Keleş6,f

1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Atatürk University, Erzurum, 25240 Turkey

2Department of Chemistry and Chemical Process Technologies, Erzurum Vocational College, Atatürk University, Erzurum, 25240 Turkey

3Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University, Erzincan, 24002 Turkey

4Department of Infection Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum, 25240 Turkey

5Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum, 25240 Turkey

6Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Uskudar University, İstanbul, 34662 Turkey

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received December 7, 2021; Revised January 29, 2022; Accepted January 29, 2022
In this study, we aimed to determine whether the progranulin level in serum predicts the course and severity of the disease in COVID-19 (+) patients and whether it can be used as a biomarker in these patients. Therefore, we sampled 61 people infected with COVID-19, and the cases were divided into the following groups: asymptomatic, noncomplicated, moderate, and severe. Concentrations of progranulin, TNF-α, IL-6 from in serum obtained from all participants were measured using commercially available ELISA kits, as well as WBC, PLT, NE, LY, ALT, AST, Hb, PCT, and CRP were examined with clinical analyzer. All measurements obtained for the patient samples were compared with those of 20 healthy individuals. The serum progranulin concentration was statistically higher in the COVID-19 (+) patient group than in the control group of healthy individuals [112.6 ± 54.8, 0.0 (0.0-54.2 pg/ml, respectively p = 0.000)]. ROC analysis was performed to evaluate the progranulin potential as a biomarker for COVID-19 (+) patients. A larger AUC (0.931 ± 0.08) value and a more significant p-value for progranulin than for CRP (p = 0.000) was detected. As a result, we believe that progranulin reaches high levels in the COVID-19 disease and may be a determinant in diagnosis and prognosis, and may be a better biomarker than CRP.
KEY WORDS: COVID-19, CRP, Il-6, progranulin

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297922030026