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Correlation between Th17 and nTreg cell frequencies and the stages of progression in chronic hepatitis B

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Several studies have suggested that the balance of T helper 17 (Th17) and natural regulatory T (nTreg) cells in the Th17mediated immune response are critical in the pathogenesis of viral hepatitis. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of circulating Th17 and nTreg cells in the disease progression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. A total of 40 patients with chronic HBV (CHB), 27 patients with HBVassociated cirrhosis, 20 patients with HBVassociated liver failure and 20 healthy controls were enrolled in the present study. The frequencies of Th17 and nTreg cells in the peripheral blood were examined using flow cytometry. Th17associated serum cytokine levels were measured using an enzymelinked immunosorbent assay. The results revealed a significantly higher frequency of circulating Th17 cells in the patients with CHB, cirrhosis and liver failure compared, with the normal controls, particularly in the patients with liver failure. The same trend was observed in the serum levels of interleukin (IL)17. The frequency of Th17 cells and the serum levels of IL17 were positively correlated with the levels of alanine aminotransferase and the prothrombin times. There was a significantly higher frequency of circulating nTreg cells in the patients with CHB, compared with the normal controls. The nTreg cell frequencies were significantly and positively correlated with plasma HBV DNA load, and were negatively correlated with Th17 frequencies in the cohort of patients with HBV. Taken together, the results suggested that Th17 cellmediated inflammation is associated with progression from CHB to cirrhosis, and to liver failure. Peripheral Th17 cell frequency and serum levels of IL17 may assisting in predicting the severity of liver damage and fibrosis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China 2: Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China 3: Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2J7, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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