Transcriptomic Analysis of Livers of Inactive Carriers of Hepatitis B Virus with Distinct Expression of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen

Noe Rico Montanari, Ricardo Ramirez, Nick Van Buuren, Thierry P.P. Van Den Bosch, Michail Doukas, Jose D. Debes, Becket Feierbach, Andre Boonstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Inactive carrier phases in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection present minimal liver disease and HBV replication activity suggesting partial immune reconstitution, although the mechanisms responsible remain elusive. Moreover, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) production-hypothesized to modulate the immune response-is unaltered. In the current study, we assessed the intrahepatic transcriptome in inactive carriers of HBV versus healthy liver donors, including in the context of diverse HBsAg levels (serum and liver), to better understand the phenomenon of immune control. We found a deregulated liver transcriptome in inactive carriers compared with healthy controls, despite normal liver function. Moreover, diverse HBsAg levels have minimal impact on the liver transcriptome in inactive carriers, although gene correlation analysis revealed that leukocyte activation, recruitment, and innate responses genes were correlated with liver HBsAg levels. These findings provide more insight into the mechanisms underlying anti-HBV strategies currently under development, aimed at interfering with HBsAg production or inducing a state of immune control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Early online dateSept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Financial support. This work was supported by the Foundation for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


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