Linling Ju*, Hong Xue**, Xi Luo***, Yifan Wang*, Lin Chen*, Jianguo Shao*, and Zhaolian Bian*
*Nantong Institute of Liver Disease, Nantong Third People's Hospital, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226006 -
**Liver Diseases Infectious Diseases, Nantong Third People's Hospital, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226006 - ***Department of Clinical Laboratory, Nantong Third People's Hospital, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226006
Objective: Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infected individuals are at risk for developing liver cirrhosis (LC), liver cancer, and liver failure. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells play an important role in innate host defense against viral infection. The contribution of MAIT cells in the pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) -related LC is still unclear. This study aimed at investigating the role of MAIT cells in patients with HBV-related LC.
Materials and methods: The frequency of MAIT cells in the peripheral blood of patients with CHB or LC and healthy controls was analyzed by flow cytometry.
Results: Compared to healthy controls, the frequency of MAIT cells was significantly decreased in patients with CHB or LC. MAIT cell deletion impairment was shown not to be reversible with antiviral therapy. MAIT cells are activated by stimulation with cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-12/23 and IL-18. Serum IL-12/23 level was elevated in patients with LC. Serum IL-18 level was markedly increased in patients with CHB or LC compared with healthy controls.
Conclusion: In HBV infection, low percentages of peripheral MAIT cells in blood have been found. The study indicated that MAIT cells may serve as potential biomarkers or therapeutic targets in patients with HBV-related LC.
MAIT cell, Chronic hepatitis B, Liver cirrhosis, IL-12/23, IL-18.