Lymphocyte-hepatocyte interactions: hepatitis C virus changes the rules
Berlin, Germany, Thursday 31 March 2011- New data presented at the International Liver CongressTM today show the existence of novel interactions between T cells and hepatocytes that are regulated by HCV infection, providing a novel understanding of how HCV persists in the liver.
The nature of the T cell-hepatocyte interactions alter CD4+ T-cell trafficking and cytokine expression, and may have an impact on T-cell effector function and the outcome of anti-viral immune responses.
Innate and adaptive immune responses play a critical role in clearing acute HCV infection. Evidence from models suggest that CD4+ T cells play a critical role in controlling acute HCV infection, but the mechanism(s) behind their failure to control chronic HCV replication are still unknown.