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World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Dec 21;20(47):17830-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i47.17830.

Dendritic cells in hepatitis C virus infection: key players in the IFNL3-genotype response.

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Kate S O'Connor, David Booth, Institute for Immunology and Allergy Research, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia.


Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms, in the vicinity of the interferon lambda 3 (IFNL3) gene have been identified as the strongest predictor of spontaneous and treatment induced clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Since then, increasing evidence has implicated the innate immune response in mediating the IFNL3 genotype effect. Dendritic cells (DCs) are key to the host immune response in HCV infection and their vital role in the IFNL3 genotype effect is emerging. Reports have identified subclasses of DCs, particularly myeloid DC2s and potentially plasmacytoid DCs as the major producers of IFNL3 in the setting of HCV infection. Given the complexities of dendritic cell biology and the conflicting current available data, this review aims to summarize what is currently known regarding the role of dendritic cells in HCV infection and to place it into context of what is know about lambda interferons and dendritic cells in general.


Dendritic cells; Hepatitis C virus; Innate immunity; Interferon lambda 3; Myeloid dendritic cells; Plasmacytoid dendritic cells

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