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Scientific article
English

The hepatitis C virus core protein indirectly induces alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in hepatic stellate cells via interleukin-8

Published inJournal of hepatology, vol. 52, no. 5, p. 635-643
Publication date2010
Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Progressive deposition of liver fibrosis is a common feature of chronic hepatitis associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and it may eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Although this fibrogenic process appears to be linked to HCV protein expression and replication via indirect mechanisms, i.e., to be mediated by virally-driven inflammation, a direct role of HCV in inducing fibrosis deposition has never been entirely excluded. METHODS: We established an in vitro system in which the human hepatic stellate cell line LX-2 was cultured in the presence of conditioned medium from human hepatoma Huh-7 cells transduced with a lentiviral vector expressing HCV core proteins of different genotypes. RESULTS: Treatment of LX-2 cells, with conditioned medium from Huh-7 cells expressing HCV core protein, led to the activation of alpha-smooth muscle actin expression. Among the chemokines secreted by cells transduced with HCV core, interleukin-8 was identified as the strongest inducer of alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in LX-2 and primary hepatic stellate cells. This effect was accompanied by a decrease in cell migration and increased focal contact organisation. CONCLUSIONS: The expression of the HCV core in hepatocytes may contribute to the establishment of a profibrogenic microenvironment.

Keywords
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/epidemiology/pathology/virology
  • Cell Movement
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary/genetics
  • Developing Countries
  • Hepacivirus/genetics/*physiology
  • Hepatitis C/complications/epidemiology/*physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interleukin-8/genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms/epidemiology/pathology/*virology
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • RNA, Viral/genetics/isolation & purification
  • Receptors, Interleukin-8A/genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-8B/genetics
  • Triazoles
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Viral Core Proteins/*physiology
Citation (ISO format)
CLEMENT, Sophie et al. The hepatitis C virus core protein indirectly induces alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in hepatic stellate cells via interleukin-8. In: Journal of hepatology, 2010, vol. 52, n° 5, p. 635–643. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.10.035
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ISSN of the journal0168-8278
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