Serum superoxide dismutase level is a potential biomarker of disease prognosis in patients with HEV-induced liver failure

BMC GastroenterologyHe Y, Wang F, Yao N, et al. | January 11, 2022


Given the reports describing the mediating role of oxidative stress in hepatic inflammation during HBV-induced liver failure, researchers herein examined if severity and disease outcomes of patients with hepatitis E virus (HEV)-induced liver failure could be evaluated by assessing a biomarker of oxidative stress.

  • Researchers measured serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a late mediator of endotoxic shock, in patients with HEV-induced acute viral hepatitis (AVH, n = 30), acute liver failure (ALF, n = 17), and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF, n = 36), as well as in healthy controls (HC, n = 30).

  • There were increased SOD levels in patients with HEV-induced liver failure (including ALF and ACLF) when compared with HEV-AVH patients and healthy controls.

  • In HEV-ALF and HEV-ACLF patients, a significantly higher risk of mortality was recorded in correlation with SOD levels > 400 U/mL.

  • In HL-7702 cells, serum from HEV-infected patients resulted in reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, HMGB1 secretion, and apoptosis.

  • HEV-induced HMGB1 secretion, and HMGB1 promoted apoptosis were successfully inhibited in HL-7702 cells following antioxidant treatment.

  • Overall findings suggest the value of early testing of serum SOD as a predictor of both HEV-ALF and HEV-ACLF outcomes.

  • Further, researchers support developing strategies for modulating oxidative stress which might be a potential target for treating HEV-induced liver failure patients.

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