Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Hospital of Quanzhou Affiliated to Fujian Medical University, Quanzhou, Fujian 362000, China.
Aim to evaluate the association of the Treg/Th17 and TGF-β1/IL-17 ratios with the survival and disease progression in patients with HBV-associated liver cirrhosis (HBV-LC).
The frequencies of Treg and Th17 cells were analyzed in 28 patients with HBV-LC, 70 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and 20 normal controls (NC) by flow cytometry. The levels of cytokines related to Treg/Th17 differentiation, including IL-10, TGF-β1, IL-17 and IL-23, were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Compared with NC, Treg cells were significantly increased in CHB patients and slightly increased in HBV-LC patients, whereas Th17 cells were markedly increased both in patients with CHB and HBV-LC. HBV-LC patients, especially the non-survival ones, manifested a profound decrease in the Treg/Th17 ratio, which was negatively correlated with Child-pugh and MELD scores. Serum IL-10, TGF-β1, IL-17, and IL-23 levels were all significantly higher in HBV-LC patients than in normal controls. In addition, the TGF-β1/IL-17 ratio was also markedly increased in patients with HBV-LC, especially in non-survival and decompensated liver cirrhosis (DCLC) patients, and positively correlated with TBil, Child-pugh and MELD scores.
The decreased Treg/Th17 ratio and increased TGF-β1/IL-17 ratio may be associated with the survival and disease progression in HBV-LC patients and both of the two ratios can be used independently to predict the prognosis and disease progression of HBV-LC patients.