Skip to main content

Hepatitis C virus infection contributes to impregnation of markers of immune inhibition: potential preludes underlying viral latency and persistence

Background

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) represents one of the persistent viral infections afflicting humankind, and a significant proportion of chronic HCV disease progresses over time through liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). One potential mechanism underlying the chronic disease is believed to be viral escape from immune surveillance via upregulation of inhibitory molecules on immune cells by HCV. We investigated the diverse expression of various inhibitory molecules in PBMCs of healthy non-HCV controls and chronically HCV infected patients.

Methods

The expression of inhibitory molecules on PBMCs was investigated in chronic HCV infected patients relative to healthy non-HCV controls using standard immunological and molecular methods. The serum levels of indoleamine 2, 3 deoxygenase (IDO) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were also investigated.

Results

The gene expression profile of chronically HCV infected patients was significantly different from control individuals. Our results showed upregulation of TIM-3 (p≤0.01), PD-1 (p≤0.01), FOXP-3 (p≤0.01), BLIMP-1 (p≤0.01), CD160 (p≤0.01), CTLA-4 (p≤0.01), TRAIL (p≤0.01), BTLA (p≤0.01) and LAG-3 (p≤0.01) with fold change of 1.3, 0.4, 14.6, 0.87, 6.6, 0.4, 14.7, 10.9 and 2.5 respectively in chronically HCV infected patients. The plasma IDO and COX-2 levels were significantly higher (p=0.001) in chronically HCV infected subjects relative to healthy control.

Conclusion

The upregulation of inhibitory molecules on PBMCs in chronically HCV infected patients suggest the contribution of these molecules to immune cells impairment in HCV infection. Viral persistence and eventual progression following potential evasion of the host immune armory via viral impregnation of inhibitory immune biosignatures in HCV disease pathogenesis warrants further elucidation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Esaki Muthu Shankar.

Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Barathan, M., Rosmawati, M., Vadivelu, J. et al. Hepatitis C virus infection contributes to impregnation of markers of immune inhibition: potential preludes underlying viral latency and persistence. BMC Infect Dis 14 (Suppl 3), P3 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-14-S3-P3

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-14-S3-P3

Keywords

  • Liver Fibrosis
  • Inhibitory Molecule
  • Viral Latency
  • Indoleamine
  • Viral Persistence