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HCV Basic Science

Researchers Show How Cholesterol Receptor Promotes HCV Cell Entry

A molecule in liver cell membranes that plays a role in cholesterol uptake also enables hepatitis C virus (HCV) to enter cells, according to research reported in the January 8, 2012, advance online edition of Nature Medicine.alt

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Hepatitis A Immune Response Has Implications for Hepatitis C

Hepatitis A virus appears to evade immune defenses better than hepatitis C virus, even though it only causes short-term illness. Learning about differences between viral dynamics and immune response to HAV and HCV may offer information that can inform treatment.

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Statins May Increase Antiviral Activity of Hepatitis C Therapies and Delay Development of Resistance

Statin drugs, typically used to manage high cholesterol, reduced hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication and increased the activity of interferon and directly-targeted anti-HCV agents in laboratory studies, and prevented development of resistance, according to a report in the July 2009 issue of Hepatology.


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MIT and Rockefeller University Researchers Develop Method for Growing Hepatitis C Virus in Healthy Human Liver Cells

Research on the lifecycle of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and development of effective therapies has been hampered by the fact that the virus is difficult to grow in liver cells in the laboratory; instead, investigators have used "replicon" models or a specific strain of HCV in cancerous liver cells. But now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rockefeller University have found a way to sustain viral replication for up to 3 weeks in healthy liver cells, as reported in the February 1, 2010 advance online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Methamphetamine Promotes Hepatitis C Virus Replication in Human Liver Cells

While there have been numerous studies of hepatitis C in individuals who inject drugs (primarily heroin), less is known about the effects of non-injection drugs on hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Methamphetamine is a stimulant that may be taken as a pill, injected, snorted, smoked, or administered anally. In the April 2008 Journal of Viral Hepatitis, L. Ye of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues reported on a laboratory study looking at whether methamphetamine inhibits innate immunity in host cells, thereby facilitating HCV replication in human hepatocytes (liver cells). 

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