Published online Dec 7, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i45.7188
Revised: May 23, 2005
Accepted: May 24, 2005
Published online: December 7, 2005
AIM: To evaluate whether the cytokine responses in liver and serum differ in chronic hepatitis C patients with normal and high alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels.
METHODS: Thirty-three (16 with normal ALT level as group 1 and 17 with elevated ALT level as group 2) patients infected with genotype 1b hepatitis C virus (HCV) were examined. Liver infiltrating lymphomononuclear cells (LILMCs) were isolated from liver biopsy by collagenase type 1 and stimulated with phytohemagglutinin and interleukin 2 (IL-2). IL-10, IL-12, interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were determined in serum and LILMCs by ELISA.
RESULTS: Serum cytokine levels were similar in both groups (P>0.05). Stimulated IFN-γ and TNF-α levels in LILMCs were increased in both groups. IL-12 and IL-10 levels stimulated with IL-2 were higher in group 1 than in group 2 (P = 0.023). Histological activity index (HAI) and stage had a negative correlation with TNF-α and IFN-γ levels in group 2.
CONCLUSION: Increased T-helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine response may regress inflammatory and biochemical activity. Progression of histological abnormalities in persons with elevated ALT probably depends on insufficient Th2 cytokine response, which does not balance Th1 cytokine response.