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J Hepatol. 2008 Jul;49(1):134-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2008.03.012. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Mouse models for the study of HCV infection and virus-host interactions.

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Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease including steatosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The development of transgenic mice expressing HCV proteins and the successful repopulation of SCID/Alb-uPA mice with human hepatocytes provides an important tool for unraveling virus-host interactions in vivo. Several of these mouse models exhibit aspects of HCV-related liver disease. Thus, these in vivo models play an important role to further understand the pathogenesis of HCV infection and to evaluate the pre-clinical safety and efficacy of new antiviral compounds against HCV. This review summarizes the most important mouse models currently used to study HCV pathogenesis and infection. Finally, the perspective of these models for future HCV research as well as the design of novel small animal models is discussed.

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