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IL-10 AND IFN-γ IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS B TREATED WITH ENTECAVIR – A CROSS-SECTIONAL PILOT STUDY
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major global health problem. An altered immune response against HBV is a core feature of chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Antiviral treatment with nucleoside or nucleotide analogues (NUCs) inhibits virus replication and partly restores HBV-specific immunity. The mechanism of action of NUCs is not completely understood, nor are the differences in the patient-specific immune responses to treatment.
The aim of this study was to determine if the biochemical, serological and virological response to Entecavir in CHB NUCs treated patients correlate with the immune response, as tested by IFN-γ and IL-10 production.
Methods. IL-10 and IFN-γ values were measured in 34 patients with CHB of whom 20 were treated with Entecavir, and studied in relation to the demographic features and response to treatment.
Results. Serum IL-10 levels were higher in Entecavir group, with a tendency for higher titers in treatment non-responder group. IFN-γ levels were higher in both treated and naïve CHB patients, with slightly higher levels in responder patients.
Conclusions. Treatment with NUCs seems to reinvigorate the immune system in CHB patients. IL-10 may be a bi-functional cytokine, increasing in all treated patients. IL-10 and IFN-γ may be inversely associated with prognosis.
Keywords: chronic hepatitis B, IL-10, IFN-γ, nucleoside or nucleotide analogues, immune response