Objective: To determine the role of serum histone H3.3 and H4 in patients with chronic hepatitis B to explore any relationship between the two.
Methods: The prospective controlled clinical pilot study was conducted in the Gastroenterology Clinic of Bezmialem Vakif University, Istanbul, Turkey, from January to October 2017, and comprised biopsy-proven patients with chronic hepatitis B and healthy controls. Demographics, hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid quantity, hepatitis B e-antigen, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine transaminase, international normalized ratio, total/direct bilirubin, albumin and thrombocyte counts as well as histological activity index and fibrosis scores were noted. Data was analysed using SPSS 22.
Results: Of the 140 subjects, 70(50%) each were cases and controls. The overall mean age of the sample was 43.38±15.07 years (range: 18-70 years). There was positive correlation of histone H3.3 with hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine transaminase and international normalized ratio levels. Histone H4 levels only correlated with hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid and international normalized ratio. Hepatitis B e-antigen positivity was present in 14(20%) of the cases.
Conclusion: Histone H3.3 levels appeared to be associated with pathophysiological changes in chronic hepatitis B patients, suggesting that future treatments should target H3.3.
Keywords: Histone H3.3, Histone H4, Extracellular histone, Chronic Hepatitis B, HBV.
(JPMA 70: 1596; 2020)