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      The hepatitis C virus core protein indirectly induces alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in hepatic stellate cells via interleukin-8

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          Abstract

          Progressive deposition of liver fibrosis is a common feature of chronic hepatitis associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and it may eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Although this fibrogenic process appears to be linked to HCV protein expression and replication via indirect mechanisms, i.e., to be mediated by virally-driven inflammation, a direct role of HCV in inducing fibrosis deposition has never been entirely excluded. We established an in vitro system in which the human hepatic stellate cell line LX-2 was cultured in the presence of conditioned medium from human hepatoma Huh-7 cells transduced with a lentiviral vector expressing HCV core proteins of different genotypes. Treatment of LX-2 cells, with conditioned medium from Huh-7 cells expressing HCV core protein, led to the activation of alpha-smooth muscle actin expression. Among the chemokines secreted by cells transduced with HCV core, interleukin-8 was identified as the strongest inducer of alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in LX-2 and primary hepatic stellate cells. This effect was accompanied by a decrease in cell migration and increased focal contact organisation. The expression of the HCV core in hepatocytes may contribute to the establishment of a profibrogenic microenvironment. Copyright (c) 2010 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Journal of Hepatology
          Journal of Hepatology
          Elsevier BV
          01688278
          May 2010
          May 2010
          : 52
          : 5
          : 635-643
          Article
          10.1016/j.jhep.2009.10.035
          20347177
          © 2010

          https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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