Objective: To investigate the correlation between HBV infection and interleukin 27 (IL-27).
Methods: Serum IL-27 levels in patients with HBV infection and in healthy individuals were measured by ELISA, regulation of IL-27 by HBV in vitro were analyzed by RT-PCR and ELISA.
Results: IL-27 was significantly elevated in patients as compared to healthy individuals (P<0.001). IL-27 was also detected at higher levels in patients with liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma than those with acute hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis B (P<0.05). We also found that IL-27 expression was influenced by HBV e antigen. In addition, our in vitro studies demonstrated that mRNA and protein expression were all stimulated in cells transfected with infectious HBV clone.
Conclusions: IL-27 would be a novel cytokine for clinical management of HBV-infected patients, which may establish novel HBV therapeutic approaches.