Chinese Medical Journal (Jan 2018)

Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Function and Cytokine Network Profiles in Patients with Acute or Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection

  • Ming-Hui Li,
  • Lu Zhang,
  • Dan Zhang,
  • Wei-Hua Cao,
  • Tian-Lin Qi,
  • Hong-Xiao Hao,
  • Xing-Yue Wang,
  • Chong-Ping Ran,
  • Xiao-Jing Qu,
  • Shun-Ai Liu,
  • Yao Lu,
  • Ge Shen,
  • Shu-Ling Wu,
  • Min Chang,
  • Ru-Yu Liu,
  • Lei-Ping Hu,
  • Wen-Hao Hua,
  • Gang Wan,
  • Jun Cheng,
  • Yao Xie

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 131, no. 1
pp. 43 – 49


Read online

Background: Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and cytokines play an important role in occurrence and recovery of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and function of pDC and serum cytokine network profiles in patients with acute or chronic HBV infection. Methods: The healthy individuals (HI group), hepatitis B envelope antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic HBV patients in immune tolerance (IT) phase (IT group), HBeAg-positive chronic HBV patients (CHB group), and acute HBV patients (AHB group) were enrolled in this study. The frequency of cluster of differentiation antigen 86 (CD86) + pDC and the counts of CD86 molecular expressed on surface of pDC were tested by flow cytometer. The quantitative determinations of cytokines, including Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt-3L), interferon (IFN)-α2, IFN-γ, interleukin (IL)-17A, IL-6, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2, were performed using Luminex multiplex technology. Results: In this study, there were 13 patients in HI group, 30 in IT group, 50 in CHB group, and 32 in AHB group. Compared with HI group, HBV infected group (including all patients in IT, CHB and AHB groups) had significantly higher counts of CD86 molecular expressed on the surface of pDC (4596.5 ± 896.5 vs. 7097.7 ± 3124.6; P < 0.001). The counts of CD86 molecular expressed on the surface of pDC in CHB group (7739.2 ± 4125.4) was significantly higher than that of IT group (6393.4 ± 1653.6, P = 0.043). Compared with IT group, the profile of cytokines of Flt-3L, IFN-γ, and IL-17A was decreased, IFN-α2 was significantly increased (P = 0.012) in CHB group. The contents of IL-10, TGF-β1, and TGF-β2 in AHB group were significantly increased compared with IT and CHB groups (all P < 0.05). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the function of pDC was unaffected in HBV infection. The enhanced function of pDC and IFN-α2 might involve triggering the immune response from IT to hepatitis active phase in HBV infection. Acute patients mainly presented as down-regulation of the immune response by enhanced IL-10 and TGF-β.