3 years ago

Interleukin-34 inhibits hepatitis B virus replication <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>

Hua Tang, Juan Chen, Ji-Hua Ren, Xiang Chen, Ai-Long Huang, Sheng-Tao Cheng

by Sheng-Tao Cheng, Hua Tang, Ji-Hua Ren, Xiang Chen, Ai-Long Huang, Juan Chen


The hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection could activate the immune system and induce extensive inflammatory response. As the most important inflammatory factor, interleukins are critical for anti-viral immunity. Here we investigated whether interleukin-34 (IL-34) play a role in HBV infection.

Methodology/Principal findings

In this study, we first found that both serum IL-34 and IL-34 mRNA in PBMCs in chronic HBV patients was significantly decreased compared to the healthy controls. Furthermore, both IL-34 protein and mRNA levels were declined hepatoma cells expressing HBV. In addition, the clinical parameters analysis found that serum IL-34 was significantly associated with HBV DNA (P = 0.0066), ALT (P = 0.0327), AST (P = 0.0435), TB (P = 0.0406), DB (P = 0.0368) and AFP (P = 0.0225). Correlation analysis also found that serum IL-34 negatively correlated with HBV DNA copies, ALT and AST. In vitro studies found that IL-34 treatment in HepAD38 and HepG2.2.15 cells markedly inhibited HBV DNA, total RNA, 3.5kb mRNA and HBc protein. In vivo studies further demonstrated IL-34 treatment in HBV transgenic mice exhibited greater inhibition on HBV DNA, total RNA, 3.5kb mRNA and HBc protein, suggesting the effect to IL-34 on HBV is likely due to host innate or adaptive immune response.


Our study identified a novel interleukin, IL-34, which has anti-viral activity in HBV replication in hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest a rationale for the use of IL-34 in the HBV treatment.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179605

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