Molecular medicine reports

mRNA expression of glucocorticoid receptor and serological and virological markers of chronic hepatitis B.

PMID 25394950


Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) function is essential for glucocorticoid action on various effector cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mRNA expression profiles of GRα and GRβ in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and examine the association between the expression levels of the GR isoforms and the serological and virological hepatitis B virus (HBV) status in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). A total of 29 CHB patients were examined in the present study, which were divided into subgroups according to serological and virological markers. The levels of GRα and GRβ in PBMCs, HBV viral loads, HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), HBV e antigen (HBeAg) and pre‑S1Ag were measured. A total of 43 healthy individuals served as controls. GRα was present in the PBMCs of all CHB patients and healthy controls, whereas GRβ‑specific products were present in only 93.1% of the CHB patients and 86.0% of the healthy controls. The GRα levels were positively correlated with the expression of GRβ in the CHB patients (r=0.419; P<0.05) and were significantly lower compared with those observed in the healthy controls (60.51 ± 23.73, vs. 100.00 ± 40.75; P<0.001). Compared with the healthy controls, significant differences were observed in the mRNA expression of GRα in the CHB patients when stratified according to the HBeAg, pre‑S1Ag and HBV viral load status (P<0.05), but not in the pre‑S1Ag‑positive patients. These data demonstrated that the mRNA expression profile of GRα differed between the CHB patients and the healthy controls. In addition, the HBV serological and virological markers were not associated with the mRNA levels of the GR isoforms in the CHB patients.