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J Gastroenterol. 2001 Aug;36(8):544-51.

Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles and their relationship to clinical features in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

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1
First Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

An imbalance in helper T-cell type 1 (Th1) and type 2 (Th2) cytokines is suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic viral infections, but this issue is not resolved in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between the balance of Th1 and Th2 cytokines and liver damage.

METHODS:

We investigated cytokine levels in the peripheral blood and liver tissue of patients with chronic HCV infection (n = 59) by three different methods; we used flow cytometry to detect intracellular cytokines, and we measured cytokine titers in sera and in the supernatants of lymphocyte cultures with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).

RESULTS:

In both CD4+ and CD8+ cells, interferon (IFN) gamma-producing cell populations increased, while there was no difference in interleukin (IL)-10 production, indicating a shift to a Th1 cytokine profile with the progression of liver disease. With respect to the ratio of IFN-gamma to IL-10, a correlation was found in CD4+ cells between peripheral blood and liver tissue (r = 0.98; P = 0.0011). Th1 cytokine was predominant in intrahepatic CD4+ cells, while it was predominant in peripheral blood CD8+ cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings indicate a correlation between dominant Th1 response and disease activity and progression. In addition, we suggest that intrahepatic CD4+ T cells play a pathogenetic role in the hepatic injury of HCV infection.

PMID:
11519833
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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