Original Research

Involvement of CD95 and ligand in CD4+ T-cell and CD8+ T-cell depletion and hepatic cytolysis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis B

Franklin S. Azebaze Agueguia, Paul Talla, Marie C. Okomo Assoumou, Graeme B. Jacobs, Cedric H. Mbakam, Elise Guiedem, Martha Tongo Mesembe, Emilia Lyonga, George Mondinde Ikomey
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1224 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v10i1.1224 | © 2021 Franklin S. Azebaze Agueguia, Paul Talla, Marie C. Okomo Assoumou, Graeme B. Jacobs, Cedric H. Mbakam, Elise Guiedem, Martha Tongo Mesembe, Emilia Lyonga, George Mondinde Ikomey | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2020 | Published: 15 March 2021

About the author(s)

Franklin S. Azebaze Agueguia, Center for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
Paul Talla, Department of Internal Medicine and Specialties, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (FMBS), Yaoundé General Hospital, University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
Marie C. Okomo Assoumou, Department of Microbiology, Haematology, Parasitology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
Graeme B. Jacobs, Division of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa
Cedric H. Mbakam, Center for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
Elise Guiedem, Center for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
Martha Tongo Mesembe, Center for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
Emilia Lyonga, Center for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon
George Mondinde Ikomey, Center for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaoundé 1 (UY1), Yaoundé, Cameroon


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Abstract

Background: Chronic viral hepatitis B (HBV) is characterised by progressive hepatocyte destruction and T-cell depletion. The mechanisms of the CD95-CD95 ligand (CD95L) signalling pathway during this chronic disease and the cirrhotic process remains unclear.

Objective: We evaluated the involvement of the CD95-CD95L receptor-ligand system in T-cell depletion and hepatic cytolysis in patients with chronic HBV.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from September to December 2018 at the Yaoundé General Hospital, Cameroon. Four mL of whole blood was collected and analysed. The CD95 and CD95L levels, as well as the CD4+ T-cell and CD8+ T-cell counts, were performed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and flow cytometry.

Results: Of the 130 HBV-positive patients, 36 (27.7%) were cirrhotic and 94 (72.3%) were non-cirrhotic. The cirrhotic patients had significantly elevated CD95 (p < 0.001) and CD95L (p = 0.001) plasma levels, compared with non-cirrhotic patients. The CD4/CD8 ratios were lower in cirrhotic patients, compared to non-cirrhotic patients (p < 0.001). There were statistically significant correlations between CD95 level and CD4+ T-cell counts, between CD95 level and CD8+ T-cell counts, between CD95 level and the CD4/CD8 ratio, between CD95 level and fibrosis score, and between CD95L level and fibrosis score.

Conclusion: CD95 and CD95L could be involved in T-cell depletion and hepatic cytolysis during the pathogenesis of chronic HBV and could potentially be used as biomarkers for immunological and hepatic monitoring in patients with chronic HBV.


Keywords

HBV; CD95-CD95L; CD4+ T-cells; CD8+ T-cells; cirrhosis

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