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Circulating chemokine (C-X-C Motif) receptor 5(+) CD4(+) T cells benefit hepatitis B e antigen seroconversion through IL-21 in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
|Title||Circulating chemokine (C-X-C Motif) receptor 5(+) CD4(+) T cells benefit hepatitis B e antigen seroconversion through IL-21 in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Li Y, Ma S, Tang L, Li Y, Wang W, Huang X, Lai Q, Zhang M, Sun J, Li CK, Abbott WGH, V Naoumov N, Zhang Y, Hou J|
|Journal||Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)|
|Date Published||2013 Oct|
Given the clinical significance of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, it is critical to elucidate the mechanisms regulating this process. In the present study, we found that the frequency of circulating chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 5 (CXCR5)(+) CD4(+) T cells was higher in patients who had achieved HBeAg seroconversion in both cross-sectional (P < 0.001) and longitudinal (P = 0.009) studies. These cells were able to produce a significantly higher level of intracellular interleukin 21 (IL-21) after stimulation with HBV peptides in patients with telbivudine-induced HBeAg seroconversion (P = 0.007). Furthermore, sorted CXCR5(+) CD4(+) T cells from HBeAg seroconverters boosted a higher frequency of antibody against hepatitis B e antigen (anti-HBe)-secreting B cells in coculture assay (P = 0.011). Of note, the increase in frequency of anti-HBe-secreting B cells was abrogated by soluble recombinant IL-21 receptor-Fc chimera (P = 0.027), whereas exogenous recombinant IL-21 enhanced this effect (P = 0.043). Additionally, circulating CXCR5(+) CD4(+) T cells shared similar phenotypic markers, and were positively correlated in frequency with, splenic follicular T helper cells. Conclusion: Circulating CXCR5(+) CD4(+) T cells, by producing IL-21, may have a significant role in facilitating HBeAg seroconversion in patients with chronic HBV infection.