[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There have been few detailed studies of viral kinetics after liver transplantation (LT), and conflicting data have been reported on viral loads and the severity of recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease. This long-term study aimed to examine (1) the impact of HCV RNA levels at specific points in time within the first year and (2) the influence of interleukin-28B (IL-28B) genotypes on patient outcomes and the severity of recurrent HCV disease. The viral loads were measured 2, 4, 12, 24, and 48 weeks after LT, and the recipient/donor IL-28B genotypes of 164 patients were determined. A Cox regression analysis showed that the viral load at week 2 was an independent negative predictor of recipient outcomes. A week 2 viral load ≥ 6.0 log(10) IU/mL was significantly associated with reduced patient survival. After a mean follow-up of 6.5 years, 21 of 164 patients (12.8%) developed a cholestatic type of HCV recurrence and/or rapidly progressed to cirrhosis within 1 year. A multivariate binary regression analysis showed that HCV viremia at week 2 and a non-C/C recipient IL-28B genotype were independent risk factors for cholestatic recurrent HCV. No predictive factors could be found for the occurrence of recurrent liver cirrhosis 5 and 10 years after LT. Our study shows that the HCV RNA level at week 2 and the recipient IL-28B genotype are independent, statistically significant risk factors for post-LT cholestatic HCV, and it emphasizes the importance of viral load monitoring and IL-28B genotyping for identifying HCV recipients at risk for severe HCV recurrence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viruses of different families encode for regulators of the complement system (RCAs) or acquire such RCAs from the host to get protection against complement-mediated lysis (CML). As hepatitis C virus (HCV) shares no genetic similarity to any known RCA and is detectable at high titers in sera of infected individuals, we investigated whether HCV has adapted host-derived RCAs to resist CML. Here we report that HCV selectively incorporates CD59 while neither CD55, nor CD46 are associated with the virus. The presence of CD59 was shown by capture assays using patient- and cell culture-derived HCV isolates. Association of CD59 with HCV was further confirmed by Western blot analysis using purified viral supernatants from infected Huh 7.5 cells. HCV captured by antibodies specific for CD59 remained infectious for Huh 7.5 cells. In addition, blocking of CD59 in the presence of active complement reduced the titer of HCV most likely due to CML. HCV produced in CD59 knock-down cells were more significantly susceptible to CML compared to wild type virus, but neither replication, assembly nor infectivity of the virus seemed to be impaired in the absence of CD59. In summary our data indicate that HCV incorporates selectively CD59 in its envelope to gain resistance to CML in serum of infected individuals.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45770. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Higher blood levels of the essential amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) together with impaired conversion of Phe to tyrosine (Tyr) have been observed in patients suffering from inflammatory conditions. Data suggest that inflammatory responses may interfere with Phe metabolism. This study aimed to investigate whether treatment with cytokine interferon-α (IFN-α) influences Phe concentrations and the Phe to Tyr ratios (Phe/Tyr) measured by HPLC. Twenty-five patients (9 females, 16 males, aged mean ± SD: 44.5 ± 11.0 years) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were examined before and after 1 month of effective antiviral therapy with pegylated IFN-α and weight-based ribavirin. Results were compared to HCV-RNA titers and concentrations of neopterin. IFN-α treatment was associated with a drop of HCV load (from median 6.3 to 3.2 log10 copies/μL; P<0.001) and an increase of neopterin concentrations (from median 4.83 to 12.1 nM; P=0.001) which confirms effectiveness of therapy. Before therapy, median Phe concentration were 123.9 μM, Tyr was 98.8 μM, and Phe/Tyr was 1.23 μmol/μmol, and under therapy median Phe concentrations increased to 132.6 μM and Phe/Tyr to 1.33 (both P<0.05; paired rank test), Tyr levels remained unchanged. The increase of Phe concentrations and of Phe/Tyr in HCV infected individuals is caused by IFN-α therapy. Data indicate that activity of enzyme phenylalanine 4-hydroxylase becomes impaired. Future studies should show whether side effects of IFN-α treatment such as mood changes and depression will be associated with the alterations of Phe metabolism.
Journal of interferon & cytokine research: the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research 12/2011; 32(5):216-20. · 1.63 Impact Factor