To determine the role of serum histone H3.3 and H4 in patients with chronic hepatitis B to explore any relationship between the two.
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.
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.
Histone H3.3 levels appeared to be associated with pathophysiological changes in chronic hepatitis B patients, suggesting that future treatments should target H3.3.