Intrahepatic gene expression during chronic hepatitis C virus infection in chimpanzees

Catherine B. Bigger, Bernadette Guerra, Kathleen M. Brasky, Gene Hubbard, Michael R. Beard, Bruce A. Luxon, Stanley M. Lemon, Robert E. Lanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections represent a global health problem and are a major contributor to end-stage liver disease including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. An improved understanding of the parameters involved in disease progression is needed to develop better therapies and diagnostic markers of disease manifestation. To better understand the dynamics of host gene expression resulting from persistent virus infection, DNA microarray analyses were conducted on livers from 10 chimpanzees persistently infected with HCV. A total of 162 genes were differentially regulated in chronically infected animals compared to uninfected controls. Many genes exhibited a remarkable consistency in changes in expression in the 10 chronically infected animals. A second method of analysis identified 971 genes altered in expression during chronic infection at a 99% confidence level. As with acute-resolving HCV infections, many interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs) were transcriptionally elevated, suggesting an ongoing response to IFN and/or double-stranded RNA which is amplified in downstream I$G ISG expression. Thus, persistent infection with HCV results in a complex and partially predictable pattern of gene expression, although the underlying mechanisms regulating the different pathways are not well defined. A single genotype 3-infected animal was available for analysis, and this animal exhibited reduced levels of ISG expression compared to levels of expression with genotype 1 infections and increased expression of a number of genes potentially involved in steatosis. Gene expression data in concert with other observations from HCV infections permit speculation on the regulation of specific aspects of HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13779-13792
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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