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18 August 2019 : Clinical Research  

Foxp3⁺ Treg Cells Are Associated with Pathological Process of Autoimmune Hepatitis by Activating Methylation Modification in Autoimmune Hepatitis Patients

Jiang Chen1BCDEF, Wen Liu1BCDF, Wenjing Zhu2BF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.915408

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:6204-6212


BACKGROUND: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic hepatic disorder. This study investigated role of Foxp3⁺ regulatory T cells (Treg) and methylation-regulated Tregs in AIH pathological processes.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty consecutive patients diagnosed with hepatitis were enrolled and divided into a virus hepatitis (n=20) group and an AIH group (n=20). Twenty healthy individuals were assigned to the healthy control group (HC, n=20), Liver function biomarkers were detected on an automatic biochemical analyzer. Serum auto-antibodies were evaluated using immunofluorescence method. Histopathological evaluation was conducted with liver tissues. Treg cells were counted using FACS flow cytometry. Peripheral lymphocytes surface/intracellular biomarkers, CD4⁺CD25⁺, CD127, and Foxp3, were examined. Serum cytokines were evaluated using cytometric bead array. Methylation-specific PCR (MS-PCR) was conducted to identify the status of Foxp3 gene methylation.

RESULTS: Levels of liver function biomarkers were significantly increased in the AIH group compared to the HC group (p<0.05). Levels of ANA and ASMA were significantly enhanced in the AIH group compared to the HC group (p<0.05). Other auto-antibodies, including anti-AHA, anti-ribosome P protein, and anti-RO-52, were also discovered in the AIH group. Severe lymphocytic infiltration and inflammatory cells clustering were discovered in AIH patients. There were significantly fewer CD4⁺CD25⁺ T cells in the AIH group, and interleukin 6 (IL-6) and IL-10 levels were significantly decreased compared to the HC group (p<0.05). CD127⁺ Treg and Foxp3⁺ Treg expressions were decreased in the AIH group compared to the HC group (p<0.05). Foxp3 in Treg cells of AIH patients exhibited higher methylation frequency compared to that of HC patients (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Foxp3⁺ regulatory T cells were involved in pathological processes by activating methylation modification in autoimmune hepatitis patients.

Keywords: Autoimmune Diseases, Hepatitis, Methylation, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory, Cytokines, DNA Methylation, Forkhead Transcription Factors, Hepatitis, Autoimmune, Liver, Liver Function Tests, Middle Aged



01 January 2023 : Editorial  

Editorial: Current Status of Two Adjuvanted Malaria Vaccines and the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategy to Eradicate Malaria by 2030

Dinah V. Parums
Science Editor, Medical Science Monitor, International Scientific Information, Inc., Melville, NY, USA

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.939357

Med Sci Monit 2023; 29:e939357


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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750