The objective of this study was to find potential biomarkers for predicting sustained virologic responses to interferon-α (IFN-α) treatment in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. A total of 101 CHB patients were treated with pegylated IFN-α2a for 48 weeks and followed up for 24 weeks, including 34 IFN responders (IFN-Rs) and 67 IFN nonresponders (IFN-NRs). After peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and Epstein-Barr virus-transferred B (EBV-B) cell lines were treated with different concentrations of IFN-α in vitro, activated IFN-stimulated gene factor3 (ISGF3) and IFN-γ-activation factor (GAF) were measured by EMSA, and MxA, OAS1, and PKR mRNA were measured by real-time PCR. Polymorphisms in the MxA promoter were genotyped to find the possible association. IFN-α-activated ISGF3 and GAF levels were similar between IFN-NRs and IFN-Rs. However, MxA mRNA induction in IFN-Rs was higher than that in IFN-NRs, and such discrepancy increased when highly concentrated IFN was used to stimulate. The OAS1 and PKR mRNA induction have a similar pattern between IFN-Rs and IFN-NRs. In addition, frequency of the MxA-88G/T genotype was significantly different between IFN-Rs and IFN-NRs, and this polymorphism was also functional because MxA mRNA induction in patients with GG genotype was lower than those with GT genotype. Regression analysis showed that MxA mRNA induction after 10,000 IU/mL IFN stimulation could serve as an independent factor for predicting IFN-α, with an area under curve (AUC) of 0.838, a positive predictive value of 68% for IFN-Rs, and a negative predictive value of 89% for IFN-NRs. MxA mRNA induced by IFN-α might predict sustained virologic responses to IFN-α treatment in CHB patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology