Objective To study the mutual relationship between anti-HBx and IL-10, IL-12 or soluble Fas (sFas) in sera of patients with chronic HBV infection and to explore the importance of anti-HBx detection as well as its role in the development of chronic HBV infection.
Methods Total of 90 cases with chronic HBV infection were randomly selected, including 10 of asymptomatic carriers (ASC), 28 of chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 26 of liver cirrhosis (LC) and 26 patients of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Their clinical data and blood samples were collected, and serum was prepared and stored at -73℃. Anti-HBx was detected with an indirect ELISA established in our earlier research, and levels of IL-10, IL-12 and Fas were determined with commercial double-antibody sandwich ELISA kits. The mutual relationship between anti-HBx and IL-10, IL-12 or sFas in serum were analyzed with the software SPSS 20.0.
Results All levels of IL-10, IL-12 and sFas in peripheral blood showed a rising trend with development of chronic HBV infection. The levels of IL-10 in ASC, CHB, LC and HCC groups were 13.93 ± 14.40 ng/L, 39.38 ± 20.77 ng/L, 69.06 ± 46.37 ng/L and 62.82 ± 23.42 ng/L, respectively, levels of IL-12 in the 4 groups were 15.64 ± 23.04 ng/L, 68.50 ± 23.14 ng/L, 76.83 ± 12.82 ng/L and 83.74 ± 24.88 ng/L, respectively, and levels of sFas were 58.17 ± 77.42 ng/L, 179.88 ± 104.36 ng/L, 249.22 ± 107.80 ng/L and 252.98 ± 87.65 ng/L, respectively. Twenty-seven out of 90 patients showed a positive result for anti-HBx detection, including 1 in ASC, 4 in CHB, 12 in LC and 10 in HCC group. The levels of IL-10, IL-12 and sFas were higher in anti-HBx positive group than in negative group. Statistical analysis demonstrated significant differences of IL-10 and IL-12 between the two groups (P < 0.05), but the differences of sFas had no statistical significance (P = 0.094).
Conclusions Anti-HBx antibody is not protective, and is closely related to IL-10, IL-12 and sFas. It may be an important serum indicator for aggravation from chronic hepatitis B to liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic HBV infection.
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