Decreased Expressions of STING but not IRF3 Molecules in Chronic HBV Infected Patients
CONTEXT: The stimulator of interferon genes (STING) induces the activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) in response to intracellular viral double-stranded (ds) DNA. The aim of this study was to evaluate mRNA levels of STING and its downstream transcription factor, IRF3, in the isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with chronic HBV (CHB) infection.
METHODS: This study was performed on 60 healthy controls and 60 CHB patients. The mRNA levels of STING and IRF3 were determined using Real-Time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. The SPSS software version 18 was used to analyze raw data.
RESULTS: The results revealed that mRNA levels of STING were significantly decreased in CHB patients in comparison to healthy controls (P = 0.013). Our results also revealed that expression levels of IRF3 were not different between CHB patients and healthy controls (P = 0.828).
CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, we found that CHB patients were unable to express appropriate levels of STING. Thus, it may result in impairment of HBV-DNA recognition and subsequently disruption of immune responses. These results suggest a plausible mechanism which may partially define the fact that immune responses are impaired in CHB patients.