Serum cytokine levels in chronic hepatitis B patients receiving peginterferon alpha-2a therapy

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Background: The relationship between cytokines and responses to peginterferon α-2a treatment in chronic hepatitis B patients has not yet been fully elucidated. We analyzed the serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, vascular endothelial growth factor, interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1) and epidermal growth factor during the treatment with peginterferon α-2a. Methods: Ninety-three serum samples from 20 chronic hepatitis B patients were collected before, during and after 48 weeks of peginterferon therapy and were assayed for 12 cytokines. The patients were categorized as either virologic responders (VRs) or non-responders (NRs) according to their HBV DNA levels taken at 6th month during treatment. The Evidence Investigator (Randox, Antrim, UK), a protein chip analyzer, was used to quantify cytokines. Results: Among the 12 cytokines, the levels of MCP1 were increased and the levels of IL-4 were decreased during the treatment in VRs. However these cytokines were not significantly changed in NRs in the treatment phases. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) value of HBV DNA measured before the treatment was 0.81 in predicting VRs, and that of the baseline MCP1 was 0.76. IL-6 levels at 3rd and 6th months during the treatment also showed AUROC values 0.85 and 0.78 respectively in predicting sustained VRs. Conclusion: Serum cytokine levels reflect the pathological differences of individual treatment phases and could also be useful in monitoring responses to peginterferon treatment in chronic hepatitis B patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalHepatobiliary and Pancreatic Diseases International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Contributors: KHS proposed and supervised this study, and also revised the final manuscript. PY performed the statistical analysis and wrote the first draft. PJY and HKH provided the specimens and clinical data of the patients. All authors contributed to the design and interpretation of the study and to further drafts. KHS is the guarantor. Funding: This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2006 (6-2006-0080). Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Severance Hospital (# 4-2009-0243). Competing interest: No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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