Interferon signaling and treatment outcome in chronic hepatitis C

Sarasin-Filipowicz, M. and Oakeley, E. J. and Duong, F. H. and Christen, V. and Terracciano, L. and Filipowicz, W. and Heim, M. H.. (2008) Interferon signaling and treatment outcome in chronic hepatitis C. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 105. pp. 7034-7039.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6004233

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. The current standard therapy for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) consists of a combination of pegylated IFN alpha (pegIFNalpha) and ribavirin. It achieves a sustained viral clearance in only 50-60% of patients. To learn more about molecular mechanisms underlying treatment failure, we investigated IFN-induced signaling in paired liver biopsies collected from CHC patients before and after administration of pegIFNalpha. In patients with a rapid virological response to treatment, pegIFNalpha induced a strong up-regulation of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). As shown previously, nonresponders had high expression levels of ISGs before therapy. Analysis of posttreatment biopsies of these patients revealed that pegIFNalpha did not induce expression of ISGs above the pretreatment levels. In accordance with ISG expression data, phosphorylation, DNA binding, and nuclear localization of STAT1 indicated that the IFN signaling pathway in nonresponsive patients is preactivated and refractory to further stimulation. Some features characteristic of nonresponders were more accentuated in patients infected with HCV genotypes 1 and 4 compared with genotypes 2 and 3, providing a possible explanation for the poor response of the former group to therapy. Taken together with previous findings, our data support the concept that activation of the endogenous IFN system in CHC not only is ineffective in clearing the infection but also may impede the response to therapy, most likely by inducing a refractory state of the IFN signaling pathway.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Querschnittsfächer (Klinik) > Pathologie USB > Molekulare Pathologie (Terracciano)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Querschnittsfächer (Klinik) > Pathologie USB > Molekulare Pathologie (Terracciano)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel > Hepatology Laboratory (Heim)
UniBasel Contributors:Heim, Markus H. and Terracciano, Luigi M.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Nov 2012 16:23
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 16:19

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