Detection of glypican-3-specific CTLs in chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis

Emiko Hayashi, Yutaka Motomura, Hirofumi Shirakawa, Toshiaki Yoshikawa, Nobuyuki Oba, Shuta Nishinakagawa, Yasuhiro Mizuguchi, Tatsuya Kojima, Kazuhiro Nomura, Tetsuya Nakatsura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glypican-3 (GPC3) is one of carcinoembryonic antigens known to be overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It has been suggested that GPC3 may be related to the development of HCC in a background of chronic hepatitis (CH) and liver cirrhosis (LC). Therefore, in an attempt to establish an early diagnostic marker of HCC, we quantified the number of GPC3-specific CTLs in the peripheral blood of CH and LC patients. We selected CH and LC patients who were HCV-RNA (+) or HBs antigen (+) within 6 months prior to the study and had no HCC nodules as detected by imaging. A total of 56 patients with CH and LC, and 45 patients with HLA-A24+ or HLA-A2+ were enrolled for this investigation. After isolation of mononuclear cells from each patient's peripheral blood specimens, we performed ELISPOT assay using HLA-A24- and HLA-A2-restricted GPC3 peptides. In the ELISPOT assay, GPC3-specific CTLs were detected in 10 of the 45 CH and LC cases (22%). In addition, the plasma titers of anti-GPC3 IgG were increased in the CH and LC patients as compared with those in healthy donors. GPC3-specific CTLs were found to be present not only in patients with HCC, but also in patients with CH and LC. This suggests the possibility of GPC3- specific CTLs serving as a marker for the early diagnosis of imaging-invisible HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalOncology reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic hepatitis
  • CTL
  • Glypican-3
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver cirrhosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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