International Journal of Medical Sciences

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18 February 2019

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Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(2):188-194. doi:10.7150/ijms.21957

Research Paper

Interleukin-35 Level Is Reduced in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection

Sheng-Tao Cheng1*, Ding Yuan2*, Yi Liu3, Ying Huang3, Xiang Chen4, Hai-Bo Yu1, Lin He1, Hui Jiang1, Ji-Hua Ren1, Juan Chen1✉

1. Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases (Ministry of Education), The Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2. Department of Neurosurgery, The Fifth People's Hospital of Chongqing, Chongqing, China
3. Department of Infectious Diseases, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
4. Department of Clinical Laboratory, Zhuzhou Central Hospital, Zhuzhou, China
*These authors have contributed equally to this paper.


Backgrounds: As one of the major public health problems, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection would activate the immune system. The outcome of HBV infection was affect significantly by the interactions between HBV and host immune response. Interleukins play important role in anti-viral immunity. Here we investigated the role of interleukin-35 (IL-35) in chronic HBV infection patients.

Methods/Results: Serum IL-35 in 72 chronic hepatitis B virus infection patients and 41 healthy control subjects were analyzed by ELISA assay. The mRNA level of IL-35 in PBMCs was determined by RT-qPCR. In this study, we found that both protein and mRNA levels of IL-35 were significantly decreased in chronic HBV patients compared to the healthy controls. Furthermore, the statistical analysis found that serum IL-35 was significantly associated with HBV DNA (P =0.0158), ALT (P =0.0003), AST (P =0.0216), TB (P =0.0270) and AFP (P =0.0369). Importantly, correlation analysis also found that serum IL-35 level was negatively correlated with HBV DNA copies, ALT, AST, TB and AFP. Meanwhile, IL-35 treatment inhibited the level of HBV DNA, HBsAg and HBeAg in HepAD38 cells.

Conclusion: Our study identified that IL-35 may be a novel marker associated with HBV infection and hepatocytes injury. These data suggested the potential use of IL-35 in the HBV treatment.

Keywords: Interleukin-35, Hepatitis B virus

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Cheng ST, Yuan D, Liu Y, Huang Y, Chen X, Yu HB, He L, Jiang H, Ren JH, Chen J. Interleukin-35 Level Is Reduced in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection. Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(2):188-194. doi:10.7150/ijms.21957. Available from