Serum interferon-gamma-inducing factor/IL-18 levels in primary biliary cirrhosis

T. Yaman, T. Higashi, K. Nouso, H. Nakatsukasa, K. Kariyama, E. Yumoto, Y. Kobayashi, K. Yamamoto, H. Iwagaki, T. Yagi, T. Tanimoto, M. Kurimoto, N. Tanaka, T. Tsuji

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Primary biliary cirrhosis is an autoimmune disease of the liver in which T helper 1 cytokines predominate over those of T helper 2 in the pathogenesis. Interleukin-18 (IL-18), for which the gene was recently cloned, is a novel T helper 1 cytokine, which augments interferon-gamma production. We designed this study to clarify the role of IL-18 in primary biliary cirrhosis and to examine whether serum IL-18 level can be a prognostic indicator for the disease. Serum IL-18 levels were measured using an enzyme linked immuno sorbent assay with mouse monoclonal antibodies. Twenty-two healthy volunteers, 31 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (Scheuer's stage I, 13; II, 10; and IV, 8), 20 patients with autoimmune hepatitis, 11 patients with virus-related liver cirrhosis and six patients with obstructive jaundice were enrolled. Significant differences of serum IL-18 levels were observed between patients with Scheuer's stage IV and those with stage I, or II, virus-related liver cirrhosis and obstructive jaundice (P < 0.05). The IL-18 levels in primary biliary cirrhosis increased according to the disease progression, and fell promptly after living-related liver transplantation. Moreover, serum IL-18 levels in primary biliary cirrhosis were correlated with serum bilirubin concentrations and the Risk scores of the Mayo Clinic prognostic model for the disease. The IL-18 levels observed in patients with autoimmune hepatitis were also elevated, and correlated with the activity of the disease. These results indicate that serum interleukin-18 levels reflect the severity of primary biliary cirrhosis, the activity of autoimmune hepatitis, and may be an additive prognostic indicator in primary biliary cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • IL-18
  • Interferon-gamma-inducing factor
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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