Objective: The aim of this study was to determine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) release in response to platelet-activating factor (PAF) induction in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers. Methods: Subjects were grouped into three subgroups. The mean age was 37 ± 10 years. Group A (n = 15), group B (n = 10) and group C (n = 9) subjects were HBV serology-negative, had natural immunity after recovery from an acute HBV infection, and were chronic HBV carriers, respectively. Results: Compared with group A, PBMCs from naturally immune subjects and chronic HBV carriers produced significantly higher amounts of TNF-α and IL-6 in response to PAF. In chronic HBV carriers, TNF-α (1,633.3 ± 793.7) and IL-6 (2,533.3 ± 466.3) production was statistically lower than TNF-α (2,630.0 ± 727.3) and IL-6 (3,870.0 ± 728.4) obtained from naturally immune subjects to HBV. Conclusion: Differences of TNF-α levels between chronic HBV carriers and naturally immune subjects suggest that TNF-α may be a critical mediator of HBV clearance.

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