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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 138237, 7 pages
Research Article

Immunologic Characterization of Posthepatitis Cirrhosis Caused by HBV and HCV Infection

Department of Hepatology, First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China

Received 9 February 2010; Accepted 14 April 2010

Academic Editor: Young S. Hahn

Copyright © 2010 Wan-Yu Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


No specific treatment can reverse the liver injury in cirrhosis. This study aims to characterize immune status and correlations between cirrhosis induced by HBV and HCV. Phenotypes of peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets (T, NK, regulatory T cells) and Th cytokine secretion were analyzed using flow cytometry in 42 HBV-cirrhotic and 40 HCV-cirrhotic patients. Cirrhotic patients had a lower proportion of CD3+CD8+T cells and NK cells, while the proportion of CD3+CD4+T cells and Treg cells were higher than those of healthy controls. The levels of Th2 cytokine (IL-6) in cirrhotic patients were increased, while only the Th1 cytokine (IFN- ) increased in HBV-cirrhotic patients. These findings show that there is no difference between the cirrhotic groups except in the IFN- level. In cirrhosis, defects in innate, adaptive immune cells are likely regardless of which virus is involved. A cytokine imbalance may play a role in the development of posthepatitic cirrhosis.