Rather than interleukin-27, interleukin-6 expresses positive correlation with liver severity in naïve hepatitis B infection patients

Liver Int. 2012 Jul;32(6):928-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2011.02742.x. Epub 2012 Jan 9.


Aims: Effective cytokines can drive the commitment of naive T cells to regulate immune response after antigen-mediated activation. Aims are to elucidate the clinical role of serum IL-27 and IL-6 in the different stages of naïve hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected patients.

Methods: Samples with well-characterized clinical profiles were assessed from 395 HBV-infected patients including chronic hepatitis B (CHB) group in 291 patients, liver cirrhosis (LC) group in 57 patients, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) group in 47 patients. Another 139 non-HBV infected individuals were enrolled as control group (CG) including 104 with normal liver function (NF) and 35 with liver dysfunction (LD).

Results: The HBV-infected group and separated groups presented significantly higher IL-27 and IL-6 expression than the CG or subgroups of CG. In contrast to IL-27, IL-6 showed significant differences with deteriorating liver condition compared with LC or HCC with CHB groups. Furthermore, IL-6, rather than IL-27, showed significant statistical differences in patients with advanced liver disease compared with those of mild or moderate to severe liver disease and in patients with terminal stage HCC compared with those of early to intermediate or advanced stage HCC. The data associated with liver function, including Albumin, Bilirubin, INR, Platelet and AFP levels, were significantly correlated to IL-6 expression, but had weak correlation to IL-27 expression in HBV patients.

Conclusion: Serum IL-27 can trigger immune response to prevent hepatic injury in different clinical-pathologic stages of HBV-infected patients earlier, but IL-6 may play an extremely important role to determine the liver progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Interleukins / blood*
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / immunology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Liver Neoplasms / immunology
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins
  • MYDGF protein, human