Expression of β2−microglobulin on hepatocytes in acute and chronic type B hepatitis

Authors

  • Yukihisa Nagafuchi,

    1. Department of Histopathology, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London NW3 2QG, United Kingdom
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  • Professor Peter J. Scheuer M.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Histopathology, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London NW3 2QG, United Kingdom
    • Department of Histopathology, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, United Kingdom
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Abstract

β2−Microglobulin display was examined in 131 liver biopsies from patients with acute and chronic type B hepatitis, using an indirect immunoperoxidase method. Enhanced expression of β2−microglobulin on hepatocyte membranes was observed in patients with acute hepatitis, chronic active hepatitis with moderate to severe activity and cirrhosis, when compared with normal liver. In acute hepatitis, β2−microglobulin-positive hepatocytes were mainly observed in perivenular areas in association with bridging necrosis. In chronic hepatitis, β2−microglobulin-positive hepatocytes were observed mainly in periportal zones and in some areas of lobular activty.

Diffuse-enhanced display of β2−microglobulin on hepatocytes was observed in 5 of 6 patients treated with lymphoblastoid interferon as part of a trial of antiviral therapy. The mechanism by which β2−microglobulin display is enhanced on hepatocytes in patients not treated with interferon is uncertain. However, display of β2−microglobulin on hepatocytes probably reflects display of HLA-A, B and C antigens and may influence the course of hepatitis B virus infection by increasing susceptibility of the affectedcells to T cell-mediated immune attack.

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