, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 60-67

Implication of Th17 and Th1 Cells in Patients with Chronic Active Hepatitis B

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The pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated chronic liver disease is still not fully understood. The immune imbalance of cytokine profile exerts a profound influence on the resolution of HBV infections and HBV clearance. This present study aimed to evaluate the immune status of the peripheral T helper (Th) 17 and Th1 cells in the active patients with chronic HBV infection.

Materials and Methods

Thirty patients with chronic active hepatitis B were included in our present study. The frequency of peripheral Th 17 cells (CD3+CD8IL-17+ T cells), Th1 cells (CD3+CD8IFN-γ+ T cells), and Tc1 cells (CD3+CD8+IFN-γ+ T cells) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) were analyzed by flow cytometry. The protein and mRNA levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


The percentage of Th17 cells in peripheral blood of CHB patients (1.53 ± 0.52%) was significantly increased than that in normal controls (0.92 ± 0.20%; P < 0.05). In contrast, the percentage of Th1 and Tc1 cells of CHB patients was significantly decreased as compared with that of control group. The frequency of Th17 cells had a negative correlation with Th1 cells, and a positive correlation with serum alanine aminotransferase in CHB patients.


The elevated peripheral Th17 cells were obtained in the patient with chronic active hepatitis B, suggesting its potential role in the immune activation of chronic HBV infection.