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Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2013 Jun;37(3):269-74. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2012.09.009. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Expression of TRAIL in liver tissue from patients with different outcomes of HBV infection.

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Center of Infectious Diseases, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China.



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection triggers the production of TRAIL, suggesting that TRAIL may play a role in liver injury after HBV infection. However, it remains unclear whether TRAIL expression in liver tissue correlates with the extent of liver injury caused by HBV infection. The aim of this article was to investigate the correlation of TRAIL expression and disease severity.


Liver biopsy specimens were collected from 71 patients with different outcomes of HBV infection, including 25 cases of chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 18 cases of severe hepatitis B (SHB), and 28 cases of liver cirrhosis (LC). Besides, specimens from 33 healthy individuals without detectable liver diseases were used as negative control (NC). The expression of TRAIL was measured by immunohistochemistry.


Expression of TRAIL in the HBV-infected patients was higher than that in the NC (P<0.001). Among the patients, TRAIL expression in the ones with CHB was significantly higher than that in NC (P<0.001). However, there was no statistically significant difference between patients with SHB and NC or between the ones with LC and NC (P=0.067 and P=0.178, respectively). Moreover, TRAIL expression in patients with CHB was higher than that in patients with SHB or LC (P<0.001 for both), whereas no statistically significant difference was observed between patients with SHB and the ones with LC (P=0.511).


TRAIL is involved in the inflammatory and immunoregulatory response after HBV infection. However, there was no significant correlation between expression of TRAIL and the extent of liver injury.

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