Direct effects of hepatitis C virus on the lymphoid cells

Yasuteru Kondo, Tooru Shimosegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


It has been reported that the direct binding of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and/or the replication of HCV in the extrahepatic organs and, especially, lymphoid cells, might affect the pathogenesis of extrahepatic diseases with HCV infection. More than one decade ago, several reports described the existence of HCV-RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Moreover, many reports describing the existence of HCV in B lymphocytes and B cell lymphoma have been published. In addition to B lymphocytes, it was reported that HCV replication could be detected in T lymphocytes and T cell lines. Among the extrahepatic diseases with HCV infection, mixed cryoglobulinemia-related diseases and autoimmunerelated diseases are important for understanding the immunopathogensis of HCV persistent infection. Moreover, HCV persistent infection can cause malignant lymphoma. The biological significance of lymphotropic HCV has not yet become clear. However, several candidates have been considered for a long time. One is that lymphotropic HCV is an HCV reservoir that might contribute to the recurrence of HCV infection and difficultto-treat disease status. The other important issue is the carcinogenesis of the lymphoid cells and disturbances of the immune responses. Therefore, the extrahepatic diseases might be induced by direct interaction between HCV and lymphoid cells. In this article, we summarize various studies showing the direct effect of HCV on lymphoid cells and discuss the biological significance of lymphotropic HCV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7889-7895
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov 28


  • B cell
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Immunology
  • Lymphotropism
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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