Possible association between HLA antigens and the response to interferon in Japanese patients with chronic hepatitis C

S. Miyaguchi, Hidetsugu Saito, H. Ebinuma, T. Morizane, H. Ishii

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Correlation between the major histocompatibility complex class I antigens (HLA-A, -B and -C) and the elimination from serum of hepatitis C virus in patients with chronic hepatitis C has not been understood. We analyzed HLA phenotypes and their relationship to the efficacy of interferon treatment. Of the 172 patients who were treated with 9 million units of interferon-α2a three times a week for 6 months, 54 patients were responders and 118 patients were non-responders. No significant difference was observed between the 172 patients and 199 healthy subjects with regard to the frequencies of HLA-A, -B and -C antigen phenotypes. However, HLA-B55, B62, CW3 and CW4 frequencies were significantly higher in responders than in non-responders to the interferon treatment, CW4 was found to link with B62, but other phenotypes were independent each other. Patients with HLA B55, B62 and CW3 had a significantly lower viral load, and showed a better response to interferon. These results suggest that HLA system does not have an influence on the evolution towards chronicity of the disease due to hepatitis C virus, but HLA B55, B62 or CW4, and CW3 may be a virus quantity-regulating factors which then affect to response to the interferon treatment, indicating that these HLA antigens in conjunction with a viral peptide is a key target antigen for cytotoxic T lymphocytes in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-611
Number of pages7
JournalTissue Antigens
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997



  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Cytotoxic T cell
  • HLA
  • Interferon
  • Response to treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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