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J Hepatol. 1996 Aug;25(2):212-7.

Elevated serum levels of 90K/MAC-2 BP predict unresponsiveness to alpha-interferon therapy in chronic HCV hepatitis patients.

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Fondazione A. Cesalpino, Università la Sapienza, Rome, Italy.



The clinical outcome of hepatitis virus infections is though to depend on the complex interplay between the host immune response profile and virus factors. 90K/MAC-2 BP is a novel member of the Scavenger Receptor Cysteine Rich protein superfamily that functions as a molecular alarm signal for the cellular immune system against both cancer cells and virus infections.


To assess the significance and the potential clinical usefulness of testing for serum levels of 90K/MAC-2 BP in chronic viral hepatitis patients we studied 115 consecutive patients with chronic HCV hepatitis, 28 HBsAg chronic hepatitis patients, 12 asymptomatic HCV carriers and 11 asymptomatic HBV carriers. 103 out of the 115 HCV patients have been treated with recombinant alpha 2a-interferon at the dose of 3 Mega Units (MU) t.i.w. for 6 months followed by 1.5 MU t.i.w. for 6 months, and have been followed up for a further 12 months. Serum levels of 90K/MAC-2 BP were measured by an immunoradiometric assay based on the specific SP-2 monoclonal antibody.


Serum 90K/MAC-2 BP levels are increased in chronic viral hepatitis patients, being significantly higher in HCV than in HBV patients. In chronic HCV hepatitis, serum 90K/MAC-2 BP levels are related to both the degree of disease severity and duration of infection. Moreover, elevated 90K/MAC-2 BP serum levels are an independent predictor of failure to respond to alpha-interferon treatment in a cohort of community-acquired chronic hepatitis C patients.

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