, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 436–444 | Cite as

Changes in Peripheral CD4+CD25high Regulatory T Cells in the Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Patients with Plasma Exchange Treatment

  • Wei-lin Mao
  • Yu-Feng Lou
  • Bo Ye
  • Sha Lin
  • Yue-mei Chen
  • Yu Chen


The prevalence of CD4+CD25high regulatory T cells (Tregs) in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (AoCLF) who received plasma exchange (PE) and/or medical treatment was investigated. One hundred five patients with AoCLF in two groups (PE plus routine-care, n = 48 and routine-care, n = 57) were enrolled in our study. In the PE group, there were 27 survivors (27/48) while, in the routine-care group, there were 18 survivors (18/57), both after 30 days treatment. Twenty-three healthy donors were used as the control group. Tregs were determined by flow cytometry serially. In the survivors, Tregs frequency were lower compared with the normal controls on admission and showed an up and down tendency; moreover, this frequency turned to the level as that in healthy subjects and was faster in the PE compared with the medical group while, among the nonsurvivors, Tregs stayed at a high level throughout the examination period. Importantly, an increased quantity of Tregs was associated with high mortality and reduced survival time of AoCLF patients. These data suggest that Tregs play a role in determining the patient’s fate toward either a favorable or unfavorable clinical course of disease, and PE may represent a reliable hepatic support device for AoCLF.


regulatory T cells acute-on-chronic liver failure plasma exchange 



Regulatory T cells


Acute-on-chronic liver failure


Plasma exchange


Hepatitis B virus


Orthotopic liver transplantation


Financial support

The work was supported by grants from Health Department of Zhejiang Province (2008A048 and 2010KYA090).

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any commercial or other association that might pose a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-lin Mao
    • 1
  • Yu-Feng Lou
    • 1
  • Bo Ye
    • 1
  • Sha Lin
    • 1
  • Yue-mei Chen
    • 2
  • Yu Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, First Affiliated HospitalZhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, First Affiliated HospitalZhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhouChina

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