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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 2637010, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2637010
Research Article

Elevated Serum Levels of the Antiapoptotic Protein Decoy-Receptor 3 Are Associated with Advanced Liver Disease

1Academic Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laiko General Hospital, Athens 11527, Greece
2First Department of Pathology, Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laiko General Hospital, Athens 11527, Greece
3Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory, Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laiko General Hospital, Athens 11527, Greece

Received 3 February 2016; Revised 28 June 2016; Accepted 17 July 2016

Academic Editor: Aldo J. Montano-Loza

Copyright © 2016 Giorgos Bamias 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.

Abstract

Background. Decoy-receptor 3 (DcR3) exerts antiapoptotic and immunomodulatory function and is overexpressed in neoplastic and inflammatory conditions. Serum DcR3 (sDcR3) levels during the chronic hepatitis/cirrhosis/hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) sequence have not been explored. Objective. To assess the levels and significance of sDcR3 protein in various stages of chronic liver disease. Methods. We compared sDcR3 levels between healthy controls and patients with chronic viral hepatitis (CVH), decompensated cirrhosis (DC), and HCC. Correlations between sDcR3 levels and various patient- and disease-related factors were analyzed. Results. sDcR3 levels were significantly higher in patients with CVH than in controls (). sDcR3 levels were elevated in DC and HCC, being significantly higher compared not only to controls ( for both) but to CVH patients as well ( for both). In addition, DcR3 protein was detected in large quantities in the ascitic fluid of cirrhotics. In patients with CVH, sDcR3 significantly correlated to fibrosis severity, as estimated by Ishak score () or by liver stiffness measured with elastography (Spearman , ). In cirrhotic patients, significant positive correlations were observed between sDcR3 levels and markers of severity of hepatic impairment, including MELD score (, ). Conclusions. Circulating levels of DcR3 are elevated during chronic liver disease and correlate with severity of liver damage. sDcR3 may serve as marker for liver fibrosis severity and progression to end-stage liver disease.