Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major public health problem, and Hepatitis B virus-related hepatocelular carcinoma (HBV-HCC) has an extremely poor prognosis due to a lack of effective treatments. B7-H4 is a novel member of the B7 superfamily that are actively involved in regulating the pathogenesis of tumors. However, the intrahepatic expression of B7-H4 in HBV-HCC patients has not been described. In this study, we investigated the expression and clinical significance of B7-H4 and Hepatitis B Virus X (HBx) protein in HBV-HCC.
The expression of B7-H4 in the human HCC cell lines HepG2 and HepG2215 was detected by western blotting, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analysis. The expression of B7-H4 and HBx in 83 HBV-HCC was detected by immunohistochemistry, and the relationship with clinicopathological features was analyzed.
B7-H4 was significantly up regulated in HepG2215 cells than in HepG2 cells. The positive rates of B7-H4 and HBx in 83 HBV-HCC tissues were 68.67%(57/83)and 59.04%(49/83) respectively. The expression of HBx was correlated with TNM staging. The expression of B7-H4 was positive correlated with HBx (rs = 0.388, P < 0.01). The expression level of B7-H4 in HBx-positive HBV-HCC tissues was substantially higher than that in HBx-negative HBV-HCC tissues, which was negative related to tumor TNM stage.
The higher expression of HBx and B7-H4 were correlated with tumor progression of HBV related hepatocelular carcinoma. B7-H4 may be an effect molecule in HBV related hepatocarcinogenesis.
Clinical trial identification
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.