Assessment of T-Cell Immunoregulatory Cytokine Patterns for Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Before and After Interferon Therapy
Many of the chronic hepatitis B patients have a higher risk of developing liver disease, such as cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. Cytokines play an important role in the host response to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Present study was planned to assess the T-cell immunoregulatory cytokine patterns in chronic hepatitis B patients & correlate them in response to interferon therapy. Study comprised of two groups. Group A included 25 treatment naïve chronic hepatitis B patients. Group B included 25 chronic hepatitis B patients who had received 4 to 6 months of peg interferon treatment. Control group included 25 apparently healthy individuals. Assessment of cytokines was done by quantitative type of sandwich ELISA. Pre and post treatment viral load was determined by real time PCR. HBeAg was done by ELISA. HBV DNA levels in group A patients was 1.4 x 107 copies/ml, and HBeAg positivity was 18/25. HBV DNA levels in group B patients were 5.2 x 105 copies/ml, and HBeAg positivity was 08/25. When compared to cytokine patterns, TH2 associated cytokines were significantly higher in group A patients (P<0.01), and TH1 associated cytokines were significantly higher in group B patients. Interferon therapy might be effective in decreasing the viral burden, and in turn may delay the progression of chronic liver disease. Out of the four cytokines assessed, IL-18, and IL-4 can be used as a marker of response to Interferon therapy.