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Volume 50, Number 3, June 2017

IL-6 significantly correlates with p-STAT3 expression and presents high variceal bleeding with mortality in cirrhotic patients: A cross-sectional study 


Jung-Ta Kao, Cheng-Ju Yu, Chun-Lung Feng, Shu-Mei Tsai, Yao-Li Chen, Yi-Ying Wu


 

Corresponding author:

Yi-Ying Wu, Corresponding author. Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, China Medical University, Number 91, Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan. 



 

Background and purpose: 

Effective mediators activate downstream transducers regulating inflammation and angiogenesis. Correlation among mediators IL-6, IL-27, TNF-α, and VEGF with STAT proteins at diverse clinical-pathologic stages of cirrhotic patients remains limited. 



 

Methods:

Plasma mediators were assayed from 158 naïve liver cirrhosis (LC-total group) and 144 non-LC individuals. The LC-total group included 69 hepatitis B virus-infected (LC-HBV) patients, 40 hepatitis C virus-infected (LC-HCV) patients, and 49 patients without HBV−/HCV− infection (LC-NBNC). Another 144 non-LC individuals comprised 54 healthy persons (HG) and 90 chronic hepatitis patients (CH-total) as the control group. To correlate with plasma mediators, 52 paired liver tissues (CH: 41 and LC: 11 cases) served for p-STAT1 and p-STAT3 immunostaining. 



 

Results:

Although IL-6, IL-27, TNF-α, and VEGF were expressed significantly in CH-total versus HG (p = 0.011, p < 0.001, p = 0.007, p = 0.004, respectively) and overall viral hepatitis patients versus HG (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively), only IL-6 presented the strongest correlation in cirrhotic patients than noncirrhotic patients (LC-HBV vs. HG, p < 0.001, vs. CH-HBV, p = 0.001; LC-HCV vs. HG, p = 0.001, vs. CH-HCV, p = 0.031; LC-NBNC vs. HG, p < 0.001). Over-expressed IL-6 linked with poorer liver function (albumin: r = −0.346, p < 0.001; bilirubin: r = 0.271, p = 0.001; INR: r = 0.308, p < 0.001; Child-Turcotte-Pugh Classification C vs. A or B, p = 0.001, p = 0.007, respectively), variceal severity (p = 0.045), and bleeding (p = 0.047), as well as patients' mortality (p = 0.005). Furthermore, plasma IL-6 significantly correlated with tissues p-STAT3 expression (r = 0.737, p = 0.010) (IL-27: r = 0.078, p = 0.820; TNF-α: r = −0.145, p = 0.670; VEGF: r = 0.142, p = 0.678) in cirrhotic patients than noncirrhotic patients.

 



 

Conclusion:

Over-expression of IL-6 reflects hepatic dysfunction and varices bleeding with mortality, as well as correlates p-STAT3 expression in cirrhotic patients. 



 

Key words:

Cirrhotic patients, HBV/HCV infection, IL-6, p-STAT3