The expression of HLA Class II antigens by resting and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells and their functional properties in autologous mixed-lymphocyte reactions (MLR) were investigated in patients with chronic active hepatitis, with alcoholic cirrhosis, and with primary biliary cirrhosis. In all groups of patients the percentage of resting T cells expressing HLA Class II antigens was significantly higher than that in controls. The percentage of T cells which acquired HLA Class II antigens following PHA stimulation was reduced in patients with chronic active hepatitis, serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive, and in those with alcoholic cirrhosis, HBsAg negative, although the level of [3H]thymidine incorporation was within normal limits. The degree of proliferation in autologous MLR with PHA-T cells was significantly reduced in patients with chronic active hepatitis, HBsAb positive, and in those with alcoholic cirrhosis, HBsAg positive. A reduced proliferation was also detected in autologous MLR with non-T cells, in patients with chronic active hepatitis, HBsAg positive. The abnormalities of autologous MLR are selective, since the proliferative and stimulatory activities of cells from patients with chronic liver diseases in allogeneic MLR were within normal ranges. The immunoregulatory role of HLA Class II antigens and of autologous MLR suggests that the abnormalities we have identified may play a role in the immunological dysfunctions underlying chronic liver diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology