Two years or more after 35 patients (29 men and six women) with chronic hepatitis B were treated by interferon, we studied relationships of age, ALT activity, activity of serum DNA polymerase associated with the hepatitis B virus, serum levels of hepatitis B e antigen and activity of 2′, 5′-oligoadenylate synthetase in peripheral blood mononuclear cells when treatment started in comparison with treatment results. Seventeen patients were given human lymphoblastoid interferon-α; the other 18 patients were given interferon-β. We measured the activity of 2′, 5′-oligoadenylate synthetase in these mononuclear cells and found the rate of increase in vivo and in vitro; the correlation between the two was r = 0.68. This enzyme activity in the patients who became negative for DNA polymerase after interferon treatment increased more both in vivo and in vitro than in patients who did not became negative. Also, both the in vivo and in vitro activity increased more in patients who became negative for the e antigen after interferon therapy than in those who remained positive. In the first group, interferon was considered to be effective; in the second, ineffective. Of the patients who became negative, some developed e antibodies and some did not; the increase in this enzyme activity in the two groups was not significantly different. The increase in the activity of 2′, 5′-oligoadenylate synthetase activity could be used to predict the results of interferon treatment and is an index that can be used before treatment to predict the response.