Phenotypic and Functional Status of Intrahepatic T Cells in Chronic Hepatitis C

Wang, Jinhui; Holmes, Tyson H.; de Guevara, Laura Ladron; Cheung, Ramsey; Wright, Teresa L.; Xiao-Song He; Greenberg, Harry B.
October 2006
Journal of Infectious Diseases;10/15/2006, Vol. 194 Issue 8, p1068
Academic Journal
Polychromatic flow-cytometric assays were used to analyze paired intrahepatic and peripheral lymphocyte samples from 37 patients with chronic hepatitis C. Compared with peripheral cells, intrahepatic T cells were selectively enriched with CD45RO+ memory T cells but had a lower percentage of CD4+ T cells expressing the differentiation markers CD27 and CD28. The percentage of intrahepatic CD45RO+ and CD28+ T cells correlated with the degree of liver inflammation, which suggests that memory T cells at relatively early stages of differentiation are directly involved in liver inflammation. Despite their memory phenotype, intrahepatic T cells were defective in proliferation capability, produced less interferon-g in response to stimulation by T cell receptor, and contained less perforin but expressed higher levels of Fas and Fas ligand, compared with their counterparts in peripheral blood. The distinct characteristics of intrahepatic T cells suggest that they play an important role in the immunopathogenesis of chronic hepatitis C.


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