It has been reported that HCV can infect not only hepatocytes but also various kinds of lymphoid cells. Although many reports have described the biological significance of lymphotropic HCV, the issue remains controversial since the target lymphoid cells might have various kinds of functions in the immune system. One of the important roles of lymphoid cells in HCV replication is being a reservoir of HCV. Several groups described the detection of HCV-RNA in lymphoid cells after HCV eradication in plasma. Another important role of lymphotropic HCV is that it acts as a carcinogenic agent and induces immune dysfunction. In this paper, we summarize the reports regarding the biological significance of lymphotropic HCV in representative lymphoid cells.
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