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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(3), 4747-4779; doi:10.3390/ijms15034747

The Role of Chemokines in Hepatitis C Virus-Mediated Liver Disease

Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm 14186, Sweden
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
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The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global health problem affecting more than 170 million people. A chronic HCV infection is associated with liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. To enable viral persistence, HCV has developed mechanisms to modulate both innate and adaptive immunity. The recruitment of antiviral immune cells in the liver is mainly dependent on the release of specific chemokines. Thus, the modulation of their expression could represent an efficient viral escape mechanism to hamper specific immune cell migration to the liver during the acute phase of the infection. HCV-mediated changes in hepatic immune cell chemotaxis during the chronic phase of the infection are significantly affecting antiviral immunity and tissue damage and thus influence survival of both the host and the virus. This review summarizes our current understanding of the HCV-mediated modulation of chemokine expression and of its impact on the development of liver disease. A profound knowledge of the strategies used by HCV to interfere with the host’s immune response and the pro-fibrotic and pro-carcinogenic activities of HCV is essential to be able to design effective immunotherapies against HCV and HCV-mediated liver diseases.
Keywords: HCV; intrahepatic immunity; immune escape; liver fibrosis; liver cancer; hepatitis C treatment HCV; intrahepatic immunity; immune escape; liver fibrosis; liver cancer; hepatitis C treatment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Brass, A.; Brenndörfer, E.D. The Role of Chemokines in Hepatitis C Virus-Mediated Liver Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 4747-4779.

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