Cell-type specific interferon stimulated gene staining in liver underlies response to interferon therapy in chronic HBV infected patients.
ABSTRACT Interferon-α is approved as one of the main therapeutic treatments for chronic hepatitis B virus infection, but only a small number of patients achieve sustained virological response. The molecular mechanisms underlying IFN-α resistance in those patients who do not respond remain elusive. Previous work in our laboratory identified the pre-activation of IFN signaling leading to increased expression of a subset of interferon stimulated genes in the pretreatment liver tissues of chronic HBV infected patients correlated with treatment non-response.
We studied the cell-type specific gene expression of interferon stimulated genes in the liver of chronic HBV infected patients and the cellular basis of the phenotype through ISG15 and MxA protein expression.
Immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect the expression of ISG15 and MxA protein in the pretreatment liver tissues of chronic HBV infected patients and the expression patterns were correlated with treatment outcomes.
In the non-responders, ISG15 and MxA protein expression in the pretreatment liver tissues was more pronounced in hepatocytes while in the responders, ISG15 and MxA protein expression was more focused in macrophages. ISG15 and MxA proteins were occasionally expressed in hepatocytes in normal livers.
There were significant differences in the cell-type specific protein expression of ISG15 and MxA in the pretreatment liver tissues of chronic HBV infected patients between treatment responders and non-responders. An easy prediction method based on immunohistochemical stains of a subset of interferon stimulated genes may be developed to predict treatment outcomes of IFN therapy in chronic HBV infected patients.
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ABSTRACT: Cost and clinically significant adverse effects are the major limiting factors of interferon (IFN) use in therapy for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. A clinical trial was conducted in China to study the efficiency and clinical relevance of low-dose regimen of IFN treatment for chronic HBV infection and to reveal factors predicting sustained combined response. During a randomized, open-label control study, hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients with chronic HBV infection (n=230) were assigned to receive pegylated IFN- alpha -2b (1.0 micro g/kg) (n=115) or IFN- alpha -2b (3 MIU; n=115) for a 24-week period. Sustained combined response was assessed 24 weeks after the completion of treatment. The greater rate of HBeAg loss in the pegylated IFN-group (23%) was the only statistically significant difference between the 2 treatment arms observed at the end of follow-up. The results of the multivariate statistical analysis revealed that HBV genotype B and patient age (< or =25 years) were 2 independent factors associated with sustained combined response. A total of 40% of patients with HBV genotype B aged < or =25-years achieved sustained combined response. Only 4 (1.7%) of 230 patients discontinued therapy because of clinically significant adverse effects. The choice of low-dose IFN regimen might be a relevant clinical option to reduce the cost and adverse effects of therapy for younger patients with chronic HBV infection and genotype B infection in countries where it is prevalent.Clinical Infectious Diseases 03/2007; 44(4):541-8. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Differentiation of recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease from acute cellular rejection (ACR) following liver transplantation can be difficult. Previously, we have found that MxA protein, a specific and sensitive marker for type 1 interferon production, is strongly expressed in chronic HCV disease. Here, we investigate MxA expression as a marker for recurrent HCV disease in the livers of 14 adult HCV patients who underwent liver transplantation. Serial liver biopsies available for 12 of these patients were stained for MxA protein and scored using a semi-quantitative approach. Hepatocellular MxA protein levels were significantly up-regulated (p = 0.025) in recurrent HCV disease in comparison to ACR. In biopsies that showed histological changes consistent with recurrent HCV disease, strong hepatocellular MxA staining was present in 14/18 (78%). In the liver biopsies with histological evidence of ACR, strong MxA hepatocellular staining was present in only three of 10 (30%). Thus, assessment of hepatocellular MxA protein expression can contribute to the differential diagnosis of ACR and recurrent HCV disease following liver transplantation. In conclusion, analysis of intrahepatic MxA levels has the potential to reduce the inappropriate use with high-dose pulsing of steroids post-operatively.Clinical Transplantation 09/2009; 24(2):252-8. · 1.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Interferon alpha (IFN-α) therapy is widely used to treat patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) but the sustained response rate is low, and the molecular mechanisms for the ineffectiveness of IFN-α treatments are not known. We screened differentially expressed genes between responders (Rs) and nonresponders (NRs) in patients with CHB treated with IFN-α to explore the molecular basis for treatment failure. Expression profiling was performed on percutaneous needle liver biopsy specimens taken before therapy. Gene expression levels were compared between seven patients who did not respond to therapy (NR) and six who did respond (R). Gene ontology category and KEGG pathway were analysed for differentially expressed genes, and the selected differentially expressed genes were confirmed using real-time polymerase chain reaction. We identified 3592 genes whose expression levels differed significantly between all Rs and NRs (P < 0.05); many of these genes are IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and immune-related genes. The ISGs were more highly expressed, while immune-related genes were inhibited in NRs before IFN-α treatment. Two ISGs (CEB1 and USP18) that are linked in an IFN inhibitory pathway are highly expressed in NRs, and a potential antiviral gene ISG20 was inhibited in NRs, suggesting a possible rationale for treatment nonresponse. Patients who do or do not respond to IFN have different liver gene expression profiles before IFN-α treatment. Preactivation of the IFN signalling pathway leading to the increased expression of inhibitory ISGs and inhibition of immune response in the pretreatment livers was associated with treatment failure.Journal of Viral Hepatitis 02/2012; 19(2):e1-10. · 3.08 Impact Factor