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Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Dec;95(52):e5763. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000005763.

The expression of thymosin β4 in chronic hepatitis B combined nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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aDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tianjin Third Central Hospital bDepartment of Pathology, Tianjin First Central Hospital cMolecular Biology Laboratory, Tianjin Third Central Hospital dDepartment of Pathology, Tianjin Third Central Hospital eTianjin Key Laboratory of Artificial Cell fArtificial Cell Engineering Technology Research Center of Public Health Ministry, Tianjin, China.


The aim of the study was to detect the expression level of thymosin β4 (Tβ4) in serum and tissues of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) combined nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The effects of Tβ4 in hepatic steatosis, chronic inflammation, and fibrosis development in CHB combined NAFLD patients were also discussed. The study included 46 patients in the case group with CHB and NAFLD and 42 patients in the control group with CHB. ELISA was applied to detect serum Tβ4 and TNF-α level. Furthermore, the correlation analysis of Tβ4 levels with biochemical index, pathological index, and TNF-α level was performed. The Tβ4 immunohistochemical levels of different inflammation fibrosis levels were compared, and the correlation analysis with TNF expression was performed. The Tβ4 levels in patients with CHB combined NAFLD showed no statistical difference when compared to the control group. In patients with CHB combined NAFLD group, the Tβ4 level had no correlation with ALT, AST, TG, FGP, hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA levels, and fat grading, but had negative correlation with inflammation score and fibrosis score (P <0.01). The immunohistochemical results of hepatic tissues showed that the expression intensity of severe inflammation fibrosis group had statistical significance compared with that of slight group, and the Tβ4 expression both in serum and in liver tissue negatively correlated with TNF-α expression. Tβ4 could be involved in the regulation of chronic inflammation and fibrosis and plays a defense role in the disease progression of CHB combined NAFLD patients.

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