The Prevalence of T Cells Population in the Liver of Patients with Viral Hepatitis

Tri Nugraha Susilawati(1), Triyanta Yuli Pramana(2), Brian wasita(3),

(1) Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia
(2) Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Moewardi Hospital/ Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta
(3) Department of Anatomic Pathology, Dr. Moewardi Hospital/ Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta
Corresponding Author


Background: It has been widely known that viral hepatitis is a major cause of liver disease that can cause chronic inflammation and carcinoma. This study aimed to describe the frequencies of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, as well as regulatory T cells (CD25+ and Foxp3+ T cells) in the liver of patients with viral hepatitis in order to understand the comprehensive role of T lymphocytes in the progression of liver diseases attributed to viral hepatitis.

Method: Liver biopsies were performed on adult patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Surakarta, Indonesia with viral hepatitis from 2017 to 2018. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to identify cells expressing CD4+, CD8+, CD25+and Foxp3+ which represent T helper, T cytotoxic, and T regulatory cells, respectively. Additional data were retrieved from the patients’ medical records, including alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels, viral load, and results of ultrasonography and fibroscan.

Results: A total of 25 liver samples were collected from patients with chronic HBV infection (n = 21), chronic HCV infection (n = 2), acute HBV infection (n = 1), and from a with multiple liver nodules. The liver injury is minimum in all patients. The study found that CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were predominant whilst the frequency of T regulatory cells is generally low.

Conclusions: The findings indicate the involvement of intrahepatic T helper and T cytotoxic in the pathogenesis of viral hepatitis. These liver infiltrating T cell subsets may be readily differentiated into regulatory T cells expressing CD25+ and Foxp3+ in order to prevent severe inflammation and maintain disease chronicity.


T-lymphocytes; viral hepatitis; immune response

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DOI: 10.24871/211202033-37


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