Increased production of tumour necrosis factor alpha in chronic hepatitis B virus infection

Nick Sheron, Johnson Lau, Helena Daniels, John Goka, Adrian Eddleston, Graeme J.M. Alexander, Roger Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Plasma tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and in-vitro TNF production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were studied in 22 HBsAg seropositive patients and compared with 23 normal and 10 disease controls. Plasma TNF and unstimulated TNF production correlated (Rs = 0.55, p = 0.012) and were significantly elevated in HBsAg and HBeAg seropositive patients (p < 0.001, p = 0.006) compared with normal controls. TNF production was also elevated in these patients when PBMC were stimulated with interferon-γ (p < 0.05) or LPS (p = 0.035). Plasma TNF and TNF production in HBsAg anti-HBe seropositive subjects were not elevated. TNF production in unstimulated cells correlated with serum HBV DNA level (R = 0.53, p = 0.02) but not with serum aspartate transaminase (AST) or histological activity. It is concluded that PBMC are activated to produce TNF both spontaneously and in response to second stimuli in chronic hepatitis B virus infection and that this activity is related to the presence of viral replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We achax+zdge the help of Helen Keane, ,Martin Page, Dr. Antony Meager, and Eurocetus B.V. (Amsterdam). N.S. is supported by the Wellcome Trust and J.Y.L. by the Croucher Foundation.


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