Lack of association of hepatic estrogen receptor-alpha expression with histopathological and biochemical findings in chronic hepatitis C
Değertekin, Ceyla Konca
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Estrogens exert a protective effect against hepatic steatosis and fibrosis. Loss of estrogen receptor-alpha(ER- ) in the liver is associated with hepatic steatosis and inflammation in animal models. We conducteda study in order to investigate the presence and extent of ER- expression in HCV infection,and its relationship with histological and biochemical findings. Ninety biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C(CHC) patients were enrolled in the study. Liver biopsy specimens were immunohistochemically stainedfor ER- expression. Nuclear ER- expression percentage was calculated. ER- was positive in 69 of thepatients (76%). ER- positive and negative groups were not significantly different in terms of age, gender,necroinflammatory activity, fibrosis, steatosis, serum levels of AST, ALT, ALP, GGT, and bilirubin. ER- expression percentage was not correlated with fibrosis, steatosis, necroinflammatory activity and biochemicalfindings. Although estrogens are known to be protective against fibrosis and steatosis in animalmodels, we did not find any significant correlation between ER- expression and histopathological andbiochemical findings in CHC patients. These findings should be verified in further large scale studies.