Brief Article
Copyright ©2012 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 14, 2012; 18(18): 2280-2286
Published online May 14, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i18.2280
Clinical significance of connective tissue growth factor in hepatitis B virus-induced hepatic fibrosis
Rong-Li Piao, David R Brigstock, Jie Zhu, Man-Li Zhang, Run-Ping Gao
Rong-Li Piao, Jie Zhu, Man-Li Zhang, Run-Ping Gao, Department of Hepatic-biliary-pancreatic Medicine, First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, Jilin Province, China
David R Brigstock, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States
Author contributions: Piao RL, Zhu J and Zhang ML performed the experiments; Gao RP planned the experiments and drafted the manuscript; Brigstock DR co-ordinated the study and edited the manuscript.
Supported by National Natural Scientific Foundation, No. 30872236, 81070370 (to Gao RP) and NIH 5R01AA016003 to (Brigstock D)
Correspondence to: Dr. Run-Ping Gao, Department of Hepatic-biliary- pancreatic Medicine, First Hospital, Jilin University, 71 Xinmin Street, Changchun 130021, Jilin Province, China.
Telephone: +86-431-88783929 Fax: +86-431-85612468
Received: July 5, 2011
Revised: March 2, 2012
Accepted: March 9, 2012
Published online: May 14, 2012

AIM: To determine the utility of connective tissue growth factor (CCN2/CTGF) for assessing hepatic fibrosis in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced chronic liver diseases (CLD-B).

METHODS: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure CCN2 in sera from 107 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and 39 patients with HBV-induced active liver cirrhosis and 30 healthy individuals. Liver samples from 31 patients with CHB, 8 patients with HBV-induced liver cirrhosis and 8 HBV carriers with normal liver histology were examined for transforming growth factor β-1 (TGF-β1) or CCN2 mRNA levels by in situ hybridization, and computer image analysis was performed to measure integrated optimal density (IOD) of CCN2 mRNA-positive cells in liver tissues. Histological inflammation grading and fibrosis staging were evaluated by H and E staining and Van Gieson’s method.

RESULTS: Serum CCN2 concentrations were, respectively, 4.0- or 4.9-fold higher in patients with CHB or active liver cirrhosis as compared to healthy individuals (P < 0.01). There was good consistency between the levels of CCN2 in sera and CCN2 mRNA expression in liver tissues (r = 0.87, P < 0.01). The levels of CCN2 in sera were increased with the enhancement of histological fibrosis staging in patients with CLD-B (r = 0.85, P < 0.01). Serum CCN2 was a reliable marker for the assessment of liver fibrosis, with areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves (AUC) of 0.94 or 0.85 for, respectively, distinguishing normal liver controls from patients with F1 stage liver fibrosis or discriminating between mild and significant fibrosis.

CONCLUSION: Detection of serum CCN2 in patients with CLD-B may have clinical significance for assessment of severity of hepatic fibrosis.

Keywords: Connective tissue growth factor, Liver fibrosis, Chronic hepatitis B, Chronic liver disease, Chronic hepatitis C