Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is etiologically associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. HCV has been reported to exist and replicate in both HCC and adjacent non-cancerous liver tissue, but limited information was available on HCV viral load and quasispecies composition in HCC relative to adjacent non-cancerous hepatocytes. Previous study has also suggested CD81, a surface hepatocyte protein, as a receptor for HCV. To clarify the above, HCV-RNA and CD81-RNA titers in 20 paired hepatectomized liver and serum were quantitatively measured by chemiluminescent RT-cPCR. Hypervariable region 1 (HVR-1) variations of parallel specimens were analyzed after subcloning in 6 patients. HCV-RNA levels in serum and non-cancerous liver were markedly higher for HCV genotype 1 than genotype non-1. HCV levels were markedly higher in non-cancerous liver than in HCC (P= 0.001) in a genotype-independent manner, with a mean ratio of 56:1 for non-cancerous tissue to HCC. Both noncancerous and HCC tissues had the same level of CD81-RNA expression, which was not linked to HCV load. HCV-RNA quantity in both HCC and non-cancerous liver correlated with the number of HVR-1 quasispecies in the tissue, and distinct HVR-1 subclones existed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases