Soluble MICB protein levels and platelet counts during hepatitis B virus infection and response to hepatocellular carcinoma treatment

BMC Infect Dis. 2015 Jan 23;15:25. doi: 10.1186/s12879-015-0754-x.


Background: The human major histocompatibility complex class I polypeptide-related sequence B (MICB) is a protein that modulates the NK and T cell activation through the NKG2D receptor and is related to several diseases including cancer.

Methods: The study investigated the prognostic role of soluble MICB (sMICB) protein in the progression of HBV-related liver diseases and to HBV-related HCC treatment. The sMICB serum levels were measured in 266 chronic HBV-infected Vietnamese patients and in healthy controls, and correlated with clinical and laboratory parameters and with therapeutic interventions for HBV-related HCC.

Results: Significant differences in both clinical and laboratory parameters were observed among the patient groups with different stages of hepatitis. The platelet counts were significantly decreased with disease progression (P < 0.001). The sMICB serum levels were significantly increased in HBV patients compared to healthy controls (P < 0.0001). Among the patients with different stages of hepatitis, asymptomatic individuals (ASYM) revealed higher sMICB serum levels while liver cirrhosis (LC) patients revealed lower sMICB serum levels (P < 0.0001) compared to other patient groups. Notably, the sMICB serum levels were decreased in treated HCC patient group compared to not-treated HCC patient group (P = 0.05). Additionally, the sMICB levels were significantly correlated with platelet counts in ASYM and HCC patients (r = -0.37, P = 0.009; and r = 0.22, P = 0.025, respectively).

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a potential role of sMICB serum levels and platelet counts during immune response to the HBV infection, liver disease progression and response to the HCC treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / blood*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / complications
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / blood*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Count
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • MICB antigen