Increase of chemokine interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) in the serum of patients with autoimmune liver diseases and increase of its mRNA expression in hepatocytes

Authors


Takeshi Okanoue MD, Third Department of Internal Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.  E-mail: tokanoue@sun.kpu-m.ac.jp

Abstract

To clarify the role of IP-10 in autoimmune liver diseases, we studied the serum levels of IP-10 in 14 patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), 23 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), and 65 patients with chronic viral hepatitis (20 type B and 45 type C). The hepatic expression of IP-10 mRNA and the correlation between the serum levels of IP-10 and clinical parameters were also evaluated. In addition to 20 healthy controls, 16 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients were included as an extrahepatic inflammatory disease. The serum level of IP-10 was significantly (P < 0·02) higher in patients with AIH, PBC, and chronic hepatitis B and C than in healthy controls, and it was significantly correlated (P < 0·05) with the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase in patients with AIH, PBC, and chronic hepatitis B and C. The serum level of IP-10 was not elevated in RA patients. After successful treatment of AIH and chronic hepatitis C, the serum level of IP-10 decreased to the same level as in healthy volunteers. As we previously showed in cases with chronic hepatitis B or C, in situ hybridization in both AIH and PBC cases demonstrated the expression of IP-10 mRNA in hepatocytes around focal or lobular necrosis surrounded by infiltrating mononuclear cells, whereas IP-10 mRNA was not expressed in areas around the damaged bile ducts in PBC cases. The present results suggest that IP-10 is specifically produced by hepatocytes in inflammatory areas irrespective of the aetiology of hepatitis, and that IP-10 may help to recruit T cells to the hepatic lesions in autoimmune liver diseases as well as in chronic viral hepatitis.

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