In order to identify immunological markers specific for hepatitis of autoimmune origin and to design strategies for their differential diagnosis with hepatitis C virus-associated liver disease, we will retrospectively study a) patients with classical "lupoid" chronic active hepatitis (CAH) responding to steroids; b) patients with autoantibody-positive, steroid insensitive CAH; and c) patients with autoantibody-positive, anti-VHC positive CAH. In all cases, lymphocyte subset quantitation and functional studies (spontaneous and mitogen-induced secretion of lynphokines, IL-2, IL-6 and "alpha"-TNF, and expression of their surface specific receptors) will be performed in serial criopreserved lymphocyte samples obtained before and after immunosupressive treatment. Additionally, serial serum samples will be tested for anti-HCV with second generation ELISA and immunoblot and, when indicated, the
|Effective start/end date||1/01/92 → 31/12/92|
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