Insulin resistance and low-density apolipoprotein B-associated lipoviral particles in hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection

Institute of Cellular Medicine, William Leech Building, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK
Gut (Impact Factor: 14.66). 10/2010; 60(5):680-7. DOI: 10.1136/gut.2010.222133
Source: PubMed


The density of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in plasma is heterogeneous but the factors which influence this are poorly understood. Evidence from animal models and cell culture suggest that low-density apolipoprotein B (apoB)-associated HCV lipoviral particles (LVP) are more infectious than high-density HCV. Objective To measure LVP in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 (CHC-G1) and examine metabolic determinants of LVP load. Patients 51 patients with CHC-G1 infection.
Fasting lipid profiles and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were determined in 51 patients with CHC-G1. LVP and non-LVP viral load were measured by real-time PCR of plasma at density <1.07 g/ml and >1.07 g/ml, respectively, following iodixanol density gradient ultracentrifugation. The LVP ratio was calculated using the formula: LVP/(LVP + non-LVP).
The mean LVP ratio was 0.241 but varied 25-fold (from 0.029 to 0.74). Univariate analysis showed that the LVP ratio correlated with HOMA-IR (p=0.004) and the triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TG/HDL-C) ratio (p = 0.004), but not with apoB. In multivariate analysis, HOMA-IR was the main determinant of LVP load (log₁₀IU/ml) (R²=16.6%; p = 0.037) but the TG/HDL-C ratio was the strongest predictor of the LVP ratio (R² = 24.4%; p = 0.019). Higher LVP ratios were associated with non-response to antiviral therapy (p = 0.037) and with greater liver stiffness (p = 0.001).
IR and associated dyslipidaemia are the major determinants of low-density apoB-associated LVP in fasting plasma. This provides a possible mechanism to explain why IR is associated with more rapidly progressive liver disease and poorer treatment outcomes.

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