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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 572171, 9 pages
Research Article

TLR3 Plays Significant Roles against HBV-Associated HCC

1Department of Nephrology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China
2Department of Pathological Anatomy, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China

Received 28 July 2014; Revised 13 November 2014; Accepted 13 November 2014

Academic Editor: Zhongxia Wang

Copyright © 2015 Xiao-lan Chen 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.


Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is a pattern-recognizing receptor that is involved in immune signaling and plays a crucial role in survival by being able to recognize various viral components including double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The role of TLR3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections is not well understood. To investigate the ability of TLR3 in regulating HBV replication in HCC, 80 cases of human HCC were collected and their tissue microarray was made. In HCC cells, the expression and location of TLR3, hepatitis-associated virus, and interstitial immunoreactive cells were assayed with immunohistochemical staining. The apoptosis of tumor cells was also detected by TUNEL stain. Correlations between TLR3 expression and HBV infection, interstitial immunoreactive cells, and cells apoptosis in HCC were investigated. In addition, we explored whether TLR3 agonist dsRNA can inhibit HepG2.2.15 cells secreting HBV. We found that the cytoplasmic expression of TLR3 in HCC is positively related to HBsAg infection and HCC with cirrhosis and promotes interstitial immunoreactive cells infiltration and cancer cells apoptosis. In HepG2.2.15 cells, dsRNA inhibited the secretion of HBV and induced apoptosis. These results indicate that TLR3 signaling activity may be involved in immune responses against HBV in HCC.