Source Department of Infectious Diseases, Southwest Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection involves various clinical states. Interleukin-12 (IL-12) has been identified as a crucial cytokine in the development of cellular immunity. But the association between HBV infection clinical states and cellular immunity response remains unclear. The aim was to explore the association by investigating serum levels of IL-12. Observed in acute hepatitis B, the highest serum levels of IL-12 was accompanied by HBeAg seroconversion. Serum levels of IL-12 was associated with alanine transaminase (ALT) levels and significant more in chronic hepatitis B patients with ALT over five times upper limit of normal and a minority of immune-tolerance patients than controls. Serum levels of IL-12 may be an available marker to evaluate cellular immunity for HBV infection. Elevation in IL-12 levels may be a factor to promote HBeAg seroconversion and an opportunity to be given antivirus treatment for immune-tolerance carriers.