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Clin Exp Immunol. 1987 Apr;68(1):15-22.

Failure of exogenous interleukin 1 and interleukin 2 to correct decreased lymphocyte transformation in chronic hepatitis B virus carriers.

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  • 1Liver Unit, King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London.


To test the hypothesis that reduced lymphocyte transformation in response to PHA in chronic hepatitis B virus infection might be due to deficient lymphokine production, lymphocyte transformation was measured in the presence or absence of exogenous interleukin 1, interleukin 2 or both, or, as a source of mixed lymphokines, supernatants from mixed lymphocyte reactions. The response to PHA was significantly impaired in patients compared to controls, but was not corrected by interleukin 1, interleukin 2 or supernatant from mixed lymphocyte reactions over a wide range of concentrations. Variation of the proportion of monocytes in culture or the addition of indomethacin had no effect on lymphocyte transformation. Thus, reduced lymphocyte proliferation in response to PHA in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection cannot be attributed to deficient lymphokine production or to active suppression by monocytes or prostaglandins and a direct role for the hepatitis B virus or a viral product is under investigation.

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