Lipids and HCV

Margaret Bassendine, David Sheridan, Simon Bridge, Daniel Felmlee, Robert Dermot Neely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with an increase in hepatic steatosis and a decrease in serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and apolipoprotein B (apoB), the main protein constituent of LDL and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). These changes are more marked in HCV genotype 3 infection, and effective treatment results in their reversal. Low lipid levels in HCV infection correlate not only with steatosis and more advanced liver fibrosis but also with non-response to interferon-based therapy. The clinical relevance of disrupted lipid metabolism reflects the fact that lipids play a crucial role in the life cycle of hepatitis C virus. HCV assembly and maturation in hepatocytes depend on microsomal triglyceride transfer protein and apoB in a manner that parallels the formation of VLDL. VLDL production from the liver occurs throughout the day with an estimated 1018 particles produced every 24 h whilst the estimated hepatitis C virion production rate is 1012 virions per day. HCV particles in the serum exist as a mixture of complete low-density infectious lipo-viral particles (LVP) and a vast excess of apoB-associated empty nucleocapsid-free sub-viral particles that are complexed with anti-HCV envelope antibodies. Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is also involved in HCV particle morphogenesis and is an essential apolipoprotein for HCV infectivity. ApoE is a critical ligand for the receptor-mediated removal of triglyceride rich lipoprotein (TRL) remnants by the liver. The dynamics of apoB-associated lipoproteins, including HCV-LVP, change post-prandially with an increase in large TRL remnants and very low density HCV-LVP which are rapidly cleared by the liver (at least three HCV receptors are cellular receptors for uptake of TRL remnants). In summary, HCV utilises triglyceride-rich lipoprotein pathways within the liver and the circulation to its advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-100
JournalSeminars in Immunopathology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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