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Clin Immunol. 2010 Jun;135(3):459-65. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Enhanced expression of lymphomagenesis-related genes in peripheral blood B cells of chronic hepatitis C patients.

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  • 1Department of Research on Blood and Biological Products, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Musashi-Murayama-shi, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan.


Epidemiological data indicate a close relationship between chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL), suggesting that chronic HCV infection is, at least in part, associated with B-lymphomagenesis. However, experimental data concerning these conditions remains elusive. In this study, we confirmed that peripheral blood B cells of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients were infected with HCV. Expression levels of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) which are thought to be associated with occurrence of B-NHL were analyzed in these CHC B cells. It was demonstrated that AID mRNA/protein levels in CHC B cells were dramatically increased compared with those of healthy subjects. Furthermore, expression levels of several previously reported prognostic B-NHL marker genes in the B cell subset of CHC patients were increased. These results suggest a possible relationship between chronic HCV infection and B-lymphomagenesis.

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