Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is associated with lymphoproliferative disorders, represented by essential mixed cryoglobulinemia and B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but the pathogenic mechanism remains obscure. HCV may infect B cells or interact with their cell surface receptors, and induce lymphoproliferation. The influence of HCV infection of B cells on the development of lymphoproliferative disorders was evaluated in 75 patients with persistent HCV infection. HCV infection was more prevalent (63% vs. 16%, 14%, or 17% P < 0.05 for each), and HCV RNA levels were higher (3.35 +/- 3.85 vs. 1.75 +/- 2.52, 2.15 +/- 2.94 or 2.10 +/- 2.90 log copies/100 ng, P < 0.01 for each) in B cells than CD4(+), CD8(+) T cells or other cells. Negative-strand HCV RNA, as a marker of viral replication, was detected in B cells from four of the 75 (5%) patients. Markers for lymphoproliferative disorders were more frequent in the 50 patients with chronic hepatitis C than the 32 with chronic hepatitis B, including cryoglobulinemia (26% vs. 0%, P < 0.001), low CH(50) levels (48% vs. 3%, P = 0.012), and the clonality of B cells (12% vs. 0%, P < 0.01). By multivariate analysis, HCV RNA in B cells was an independent factor associated with the presence of at least one marker for lymphoproliferation (odds ratio: 1.98 [95% confidence interval: 1.36-7.24], P = 0.027). Based on the results obtained, the infection of B cells with HCV would play an important role in the development of lymphoproliferative disorders.
"Both HBV and HCV are known to be chronic viruses leading to persistent B-cell activation and potential lymphomagenesis. Evidence exists to support direct infection of B cells and activation of signaling favoring tumorigenesis as well [37, 38]. This frequent association may be related to a higher prevalence of HBV infection among patients with lymphoma compared with controls  or may be a function of the intense immunosuppressive regimen used, particularly in regimens containing rituximab (Rituxan, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA) [40••]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, HBV DNA persists in minute amounts in hepatocyte nuclei even in individuals with "resolved" infection. Viral replication and development of liver disease depend on the balance between viral mechanisms promoting persistence and host immune control. Patients with active or inactive disease or resolved HBV infection are at risk for reactivation with immunosuppressive therapy use. HBV reactivation varies from a clinically asymptomatic condition to one associated with acute liver failure and death. We review recent studies on HBV reactivation during immunomodulatory therapies for oncologic, gastroenterological, rheumatic, and dermatologic disorders. Risk calculation should be determined through HBV screening and assessment of immunosuppressive therapy potency. We also discuss monitoring for reactivation, prophylactic antiviral therapy, and treatment of reactivation. Prophylactic antiviral treatment is needed for all HBsAg carriers and selected patients who have anti-HBc without HBsAg and is critical for preventing viral reactivation and improving outcomes.
"In the early 1990s, the presence of HCV-RNA was demonstrated by PCR not only in serum/plasma and liver tissues but also in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), especially in B-cells, of patients infected with HCV [68–71]. Nevertheless, although HCV has been detected in lymphocytes from HCV infected patients and patients with MC, only in a minority of cases RNA-negative strands, the HCV replicative intermediates suggestive of viral replication, were also detected in the cells [72–74]. Detection of negative-strands HCV-RNA in PBMCs by polymerase chain reaction, may also be due to either contamination or passive absorption of circulating HCV, thus potentially leading to false positive results [75, 76]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is probably the most common chronic viral infection and affects an estimated 180 million people worldwide, accounting for 3% of the global population. Although the liver is considered to be the primary target, extrahepatic manifestations are well recognized among patients with chronic HCV infection. Epidemiological studies have clearly demonstrated a correlation between chronic HCV infection and occurrence of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (B-NHL). The clinical evidence that antiviral therapy has a significant role in the treatment at least of some HCV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders, especially indolent B-NHL, further supports the existence of an etiopathogenetic link. However, the mechanisms exploited by HCV to induce B-cell lymphoproliferation have so far not completely clarified. It is conceivable that different biological mechanisms, namely, chronic antigen stimulation, high-affinity interaction between HCV-E2 protein and its cellular receptors, direct HCV infection of B-cells, and "hit and run" transforming events, may be combined themselves and cooperate in a multifactorial model of HCV-associated lymphomagenesis.
"Our recent study also clearly demonstrated that HCV RNA and HCV core and NS3 proteins are detected in CD19+ but not in CD19− PBMC . Furthermore, Inokuchi et al. confirmed that negative-strand HCV RNA, regarded as a marker of viral replication, was detected in B cells of patients with CHC . Considering this evidence, it can be concluded that HCV infects and replicates in PBMC, particularly in the CD19+ B-cell subset, of patients with CHC. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been recognized as a major cause of chronic liver diseases worldwide. It has been suggested that HCV infects not only hepatocytes but also mononuclear lymphocytes including B cells that express the CD81 molecule, a putative HCV receptor. HCV infection of B cells is the likely cause of B-cell dysregulation disorders such as mixed cryoglobulinemia, rheumatoid factor production, and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders that may evolve into non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Epidemiological data indicate an association between HCV chronic infection and the occurrence of B-cell NHL, suggesting that chronic HCV infection is associated at least in part with B-cell lymphomagenesis. In this paper, we aim to provide an overview of recent literature, including our own, to elucidate a possible role of HCV chronic infection in B-cell lymphomagenesis.
Advances in Hematology 07/2011; 2011(21):835314. DOI:10.1155/2011/835314
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