Hepatitis C virus infection leads to a high rate of chronicity. Mechanisms of viral clearance and persistence are still poorly understood. In this study, hepatic gene expression analysis was performed to identify any molecular signature associated with the outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in chimpanzees. Acutely HCV-infected chimpanzees with self-limited infection or progression to chronicity were studied. Interferon stimulated genes were induced irrespective of the outcome of infection. Early induction of a set of genes associated with cell proliferation and immune activation was associated with subsequent viral clearance. Specifically, two of the genes: interleukin binding factor 3 (ILF3) and cytotoxic granule-associated RNA binding protein (TIA1), associated with robust T-cell response, were highly induced early in chimpanzees with self-limited infection. Up-regulation of genes associated with CD8+ T cell response was evident only during the clearance phase of the acute self-limited infection. The induction of these genes may represent an initial response of cellular injury and proliferation that successfully translates to a "danger signal" leading to induction of adaptive immunity to control viral infection. This primary difference in hepatic gene expression between self-limited and chronic infections supports the concept that successful activation of HCV-specific T-cell response is critical in clearance of acute HCV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)