, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 35-43
Date: 25 Sep 2012

Association of serum soluble human leukocyte antigen-G levels with chronic hepatitis B virus infection

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Human leukocyte antigen-G is involved in immunotolerogenic, inflammatory and carcinogenic process. This study investigated serum soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) levels in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection according to the infection phases and clinical diagnoses. The study included 223 patients with chronic HBV infection [phases: 38 immune-tolerant (IT), 83 immune clearance (IC), 30 non/low-replicative (LR) and 72 HBeAg negative hepatitis (ENH); diagnoses: 38 asymptomatic HBV carriers (ASC), 98 chronic hepatitis (CH), 46 cirrhosis (LC) and 41 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)], 62 HBV infection resolvers and 66 healthy controls. The sHLA-G levels in patients were elevated compared with resolvers and healthy controls (P < 0.001). According to phases, sHLA-G levels were higher in IC and ENH than in IT (P = 0.017 and P = 0.001, respectively). Serum sHLA-G levels were also higher in ENH than in LR (P = 0.008). According to diagnoses, sHLA-G levels in HCC were significantly increased compared with LC, CH and ASC (P = 0.010, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Serum sHLA-G levels were higher in CH than in ASC (P = 0.039). The sHLA-G levels in IC, ENH and CH were correlated with alanine aminotransferase levels (P = 0.011, P = 0.010 and P < 0.001, respectively). It is concluded that sHLA-G is involved in the pathogenesis of chronic HBV infection and correlates with infection phases and clinical diseases, suggesting the value in evaluating disease activity and defining clinical diagnosis.

Qunying Han and Na Li contributed equally to this work.