To investigate the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in the liver and serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA level in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients before and after interferon (IFN) treatment, a total of 51 CHB patients were recruited and treated with IFN-α 1b for 6 months. The expressions of ICAM-1 and serum HBV DNA were determined at baseline and after 6-month treatment by using immunohistochemistry and real time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The expression of ICAM-1 in the patients with moderate to severe CHB was markedly higher that that in mild CHB patients (P<0.05) at baseline and after 6-month treatment. Furthermore, IFN treatment could dramatically decrease the ICAM-1 expression among patients with moderate to severe chronic hepatitis B (CHB) (P<0.05). However, the expression of ICAM-1 was relatively stable in patients with mild CHB even after 6-month treatment (P>0.05). In addition, there was a positive correlation between serum level of HBV DNA loads and ICAM-1 expression on hepatocytes in CHB patients, among patients with higher ICAM-1 expression (++, +++, ++++), the serum level of HBV DNA was markedly lowered by IFN-α1b treatment (P<0.05), which was not observed in patients only mildly positive for ICAM-1 (+). The results indicate that IFN treatment can down-regulate the expression of ICAM-1 in the liver of CHB patients and promote the clearance of HBV, which was more obvious in patients with higher ICAM-1 expression.
Key words: Interferon, hepatitis B, intercellular adhesion molecule-1.
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