Research Article

Sex Differences in Spontaneous Degranulation Activity of Intrahepatic Natural Killer Cells during Chronic Hepatitis B: Association with Estradiol Levels

Figure 1

(a) Degranulation activity of IH-NK cells of chronic HBV- and HCV-infected patients directly after the recovery of liver biopsies. Gaussian distribution was tested by the D’Agostino-Pearson omnibus normality test. The Mann-Whitney test was used to test the HBV cohort and the t-test to test the HCV cohort. (b) Frequencies of degranulating IH-NK CD56Dim cells of chronically HBV-infected patients stimulated in vitro by ±3 h of K562 target cells. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare between females and males, while the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test was used to compare before and after K562 stimulation. (c) Correlation of estradiol serum levels with spontaneous degranulation capacity of intrahepatic NK cells of chronically HBV-infected patients. To test significance, Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used. Each symbol represented a patient and mean values are indicated by lines.