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Microbiol Immunol. 2007;51(1):127-33.

In vitro infection of immortalized primary hepatocytes by HCV genotype 4a and inhibition of virus replication by cyclosporin.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Egypt.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. We previously reported that cyclosporin A (CsA) inhibits HCV-1b replication. However, its inhibition of JFH-1 (HCV-2a) was much less. Since HCV genotype clearly affects the in vitro and in vivo response to anti-viral therapy, we wished to examine the effect of CsA and its non-immunosuppressive derivative NIM811 on HCV genotype 4a replication. We first established an in vitro system supporting HCV-4a infection and replication using immortalized human hepatocytes, HuS-E7/DN24 (HuS) cells, and these cells were infected with sera obtained from Egyptian patients with chronic HCV-4a infection. HuS cells supported more robust HCV-4a replication than both HuH-7.5 and PH5CH8 cells, and HCV-4a infection and replication were completely inhibited by 3 mug/ml CsA and 0.5 mug/ml NIM811. Thus, HuS cells are a good model system supporting the infection and high-level replication of HCV-4a, and both CsA and NIM811 effectively inhibit HCV-4a replication in this system.

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