Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Elevation of soluble major histocompatibility complex class I related chain A protein in malignant and infectious diseases in Chinese patients

Xiaoxin Jiang123, Ju-Fang Huang3, Zhi Huo1, Qiuqui Zhang1, Yan Jiang1, Xiaoping Wu1, Yanwen Li1, Guanmin Jiang1, Leping Zeng3, Xiao-Xin Yan3*, Ping Yu2 and Renxian Cao1*

Author affiliations

1 The First Affiliated Hospital, Nanhua University, Hengyang, 421001, China

2 Department of Immunology, Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410078, China

3 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410013, China

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Citation and License

BMC Immunology 2012, 13:62  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-13-62

Published: 26 November 2012



Elevation of soluble major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene A (sMICA) products in serum has been linked to tissue/organ transplantation, autoimmune diseases and some malignant disorders. Cells infected by microbiological pathogens may release sMICA, whereas less is known whether and to what extent serum sMICA levels may change in infectious diseases.


The present study determined serum sMICA levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a southern China population, including patients (nā€‰=ā€‰1041) suffering from several types of malignant and infectious diseases and healthy controls (nā€‰=ā€‰141).


Relative to controls, serum sMICA elevation was significant in patients of hepatic cancer, and was approaching statistical significance in patients with lung, gastric and nasopharyngeal cancers. sMICA elevation was also associated with some bacterial (Enterobacteriaceae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive cocci), viral (hepatitis B and C) and the Microspironema pallidum infections.


Serum sMICA levels may be informative for the diagnosis of some malignant and infectious diseases. The results also indicate that microbiological infections should be considered as a potential confounding clinical condition causing serum sMICA elevation while using this test to evaluate the status of other disorders, such as cancers, host-graft response and autoimmune diseases.

MHC; sMICA/B; NKG2D; Cancer diagnosis; Serum