Recent studies have demonstrated that several cellular factors are involved in entry of hepatitis C virus (HCV) into host cells. Detailed gene expression profiles of these factors in HCV-infected livers have not been reported for humans. Transcriptional levels of LDL receptor (LDLR), CD81, scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), claudin-1, and occludin genes in liver samples from patients with chronic hepatitis C were investigated. Serum levels of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and HCV core antigen were also evaluated, and expression of claudin-1 and occludin were immunohistochemically analyzed. Compared with normal liver, transcription of LDLR and claudin-1 genes was significantly suppressed (P<0.0001) and occludin transcription was significantly up-regulated in HCV-infected livers (P<0.0001). Significant positive correlations were found for LDLR versus occludin, LDLR versus claudin-1, occludin versus claudin-1, and CD81 versus SR-BI in HCV-infected (P=0.0012, P<0.0001, P=0.0004, and P<0.0001, respectively) and normal livers (P<0.0001, P=0.0051, P<0.0001, and P<0.0001, respectively). Positive correlation was observed between serum levels of HCV core antigen and LDL-C (P=0.0147), with their levels negatively correlated to LDLR (P=0.0270 and P=0.0021, respectively). Immunohistochemically, hepatocellular expression of claudin-1 and occludin was increased in HCV-infected livers. Different levels of expression were demonstrated at the mRNA and protein levels for occludin and claudin-1 in HCV-infected and normal livers. Correlation of elements associated with viral entry was comparable in HCV-infected and normal livers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases