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Intrahepatic expression of pre-S1 and pre-S2 antigens in chronic hepatitis B virus infection in relation to hepatitis B virus replication and hepatitis delta virus superinfection.
  1. C M Chu,
  2. Y F Liaw
  1. Liver Unit, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipie, Taiwan, Republic of China.

    Abstract

    Hepatocyte expression of pre-S1 and pre-S2 in relation to hepatitis B virus replication (hepatitis B virus-DNA in serum and HBcAg in the liver), histological activity and hepatitis delta virus superinfection was studied by indirect immunofluorescence on frozen sections of liver specimens from 68 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. All 44 patients with chronic type B hepatitis had pre-S1 and pre-S2 display in the liver. The distribution of pre-S1 in the liver was membranous in one, mixed membranous and cytoplasmic in 12, and cytoplasmic in 31. The distribution of pre-S2 was membranous in one, mixed membranous and cytoplasmic in 26, and cytoplasmic in 17. Membranous expression of pre-S1 was significantly more prevalent in patients with active hepatitis B virus replication than in those without (13/28 v 0/16, p < 0.001), regardless of the histological activity, as was membranous expression of pre-S2 (27/28 v 0/16, p < 0.001). In contrast, a significantly higher extent of cytoplasmic expression of pre-S1 and pre-S2 was noted in patients without active hepatitis B virus replication than in those with. Of 24 patients with chronic type D hepatitis virus, eight had active hepatitis B virus replication, and the other 16 did not. The distribution and quantitative expression of pre-S1 and pre-S2 in the liver in these patients also correlated significantly with the status of hepatitis B virus replication and, moreover, showed little or no difference from those without hepatitis delta virus infection. In conclusion, all patients with chronic type B hepatitis had synthesis and display of pre-S1 and pre-S2 in the liver. The distribution and quantitative expression of pre-S1 and pre-S2, however, were closely related to the status of hepatitis B virus replication, but not to the histological activity. Hepatocyte expression of pre-S1 and pre-S2 in chronic type D hepatitis also correlated significantly with status of hepatitis B virus replication, and was not modulated by concurrent hepatitis delta virus infection.

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