Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.1(1) > 1110644

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1998 Sep;1(1):90-99. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 1998.
Copyright © 1998 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
A Study of Serum Cytokines in the Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection
Byung Ju Kim, Jae Sook Ma and Tai Ju Hwang
Department of Pediatrics, Chonnam University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.


The aim of this study was to clarify the serum cytokine pattern in patients with chronic HBV infection in terms of their clinical state.


Intravenous blood samples were taken from 35 patients who were seropositive for HBsAg for at least 6 months and 7 healthy controls. Samples were initially tested for serum aminotransferases and serologic markers for hepatitis B virus by EIA. Serum levels of interleukin(IL)-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-4, and IL-10 were measured by ELISA.


Among 35 patients, seropositive for HBeAg was 20 and for anti-HBe was 15. The histologic diagnosis of 19 patients underwent liver biopsy were chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH) in 10 and chronic active hepatitis (CAH) in 9. Serum IL-10 level in patients seropositive for HBeAg was significantly higher than that in patients seropositive for anti-HBe (p<0.05). All measured cytokine levels in patients with CAH were higher than those of patients with CPH. High values of all measured cytokines except IL-4 were seen in patients with AST and ALT > 100 U/L. High level of IL-4 was seen in patients with normal aminotransferase levels.


These results were thought to indicate that anti-inflammatory Th2-like cytokine (IL-10) production in chronic HBV infection is related to circulating HBeAg rather than activity of hepatitis and that Th1 cytokines seem to be associated with the increasing activity of hepatitis.

Keywords: Serum cytokine; Chronic hepatitis B infection