Correlation of hepatitis B core antigen and β-catenin expression on hepatocytes in chronic hepatitis B virus infection: Relevance to the severity of liver damage and viral replication
Article first published online: 7 JUN 2007
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 22, Issue 9, pages 1534–1542, September 2007
How to Cite
Kim, C. W., Yoon, S. K., Jung, E. S., Jung, C. K., Jang, J. W., Kim, M. S., Lee, S. Y., Bae, S. H., Choi, J. Y., Choi, S. W., Han, N. I. and Lee, C. D. (2007), Correlation of hepatitis B core antigen and β-catenin expression on hepatocytes in chronic hepatitis B virus infection: Relevance to the severity of liver damage and viral replication. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 22: 1534–1542. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2007.04849.x
- Issue published online: 15 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 7 JUN 2007
- Accepted for publication 26 October 2006.
- hepatitis B core antigen;
- hepatitis B virus;
- liver damage;
- viral replication
Background and Aims: The topographical distribution of hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) is related to the pathogenesis of liver damage caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. β-catenin plays an important role in both intracellular adhesion and Wnt signaling transduction pathways. This study investigated the intrahepatic expression of HBcAg and β-catenin in chronic HBV infection, and correlated the results with the degree of liver damage and viral replication.
Method: Liver sections from 73 patients with chronic HBV infection were examined immunohistochemically for HBcAg and β-catenin.
Results: The distribution of HBcAg could be classified into four types: only nucleus (C-1), both nucleus and cytoplasm (C-2), only cytoplasm (C-3) and all negative for nucleus and cytoplasm (C-4). Significant differences in serum aminotransferase level, HBV DNA and necroinflammatory score were observed among the different distribution types, and as the distribution of HBcAg changed from C-1 to C-4, fibrosis stage and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) negative/anti-HBe positive rate increased concurrently. The distribution of β-catenin could be classified into two types: only membrane (B-1) and membrane with nucleus or cytoplasm (B-2). B-2 showed higher serum aminotransferase level and necroinflammatory score than B-1. Between B-1 and B-2, there was no significant difference in serum HBV DNA level or fibrosis stage.
Conclusions: In chronic HBV infection, HBcAg distribution may change from C-1 to C-4 gradually, and in correlation with serum aminotransferase, and HBV DNA and HBeAg negative/anti-HBe positive rate. Nuclear or cytoplasmic distribution of β-catenin, compared with exclusive membranous distribution of β-catenin, is related to active hepatitis, but not viral replication.