Autoantibodies in hepatitis C: red flag or bystander effect?

Liver Diseases Branch, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.87). 03/2013; 56(3):243. DOI: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182774b04
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is characterized by a number of autoreactive manifestations, such as autoantibody production, cryoglobulinemia and thyroid disorders. We will analyse critically the mechanisms invoked, and partially documented, to explain such manifestations arising in genetically predisposed individuals exposed to HCV. In particular we will examine the available evidence implicating the virus in lowering the B cell activation threshold, in directly infecting lymphocytes and in inducing self-reactivity through a mechanism of molecular mimicry. We will then move to the HCV related clinical immunopathological manifestations, with a specific attention to the effects of antiviral treatment.
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