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Effect of Serum Vitamin D Levels on Cellular Immunity and Antiviral Effects in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients by Li-Jie He, He-Ping Zhang, Hong-Juan Li, Jing Wang, Dan-Dan Chang

Background: To study the effect of 25-hydroxyl vitamin D3 on peripheral blood T lymphocyte immune function and antiviral effects in chronic hepatitis B patients.
Methods: The clinical data for 70 patients with chronic hepatitis B were analyzed. Serum 25-hydroxyl vitamin D was determined by electrochemical luminescence, and hepatitis B virus serological markers were determined by fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Subsets of T lymphocytes were determined by immune fluorescence labeling method. These patients were divided into three groups based on serum 25-hydroxyl vitamin D level. After six months of pegylated interferon treatment, three groups have their number of T lymphocyte, liver functions, and virological indexes examined at the corresponding time.
Results: The years and ratio of gender have no statistical differences in these three groups. The proportion of CD3+, CD4+ T lymphocytes and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ significantly increased (p < 0.05) as the level of 25-hydroxyl vitamin D increased, but the proportion of CD8+ decreased. Interferon treatment can improve the T cells subgroup, and the high level group of serum 25-hydroxyl vitamin D improved more obviously. The positive ratio of HBeAg, HBsAg and the titer of HBV DNA decreased with the increase of serum vitamin D, and the difference between the high and low level 25-hydroxyl vitamin D groups was significant (p < 0.05). The treatment of interferon can obviously improve the hepatitis B virus serological markers; the high level group of serum 25-hydroxyl vitamin D can obtain better virological response. However, there was no significant difference between the three groups of serological markers of liver function.
Conclusions: Vitamin D may play a part in the immunologic function adjustment and immune tolerance in the natural course of chronic HBV infection, and high levels of vitamin D may be able to achieve sustained virological response. These findings may shed light on the research and treatment of chronic hepatitis B pathogenesis.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2016.160210