Author(s): Castello G, Scala S, Palmieri G, Curley SA, Izzo F
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Abstract Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a worldwide health problem because of its incidence and pathogenicity. It might evolve into chronic disease, cirrhosis, and/or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the outcome is mainly determined by the host immune response. For viral clearance, combined innate and adaptive immune responses are required; resolution requires a vigorous, durable, polyclonal CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell response, with an increase in virus-specific CD8(+) T cells or cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Failure of efficient immune response can lead to chronic inflammation, tissue remodeling through cell growth, apoptosis and/or necrosis and induction of oxidative stress. Development of fibrosis and/or cirrhosis plus a microenvironment conducive to genomic instability mutations will promote neoplastic transformation. System governance derives from cellular (regulatory cells) and humoral (cytokines and chemokines) immune networks. Therefore, HCC pathogenesis may be a model to study the disease progression from chronic inflammation to cancer allowing design of new strategies targeting the immune response, thereby modifying disease outcome. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics