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Hepat Mon. 2015 Aug 30;15(8):e29282. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.29282. eCollection 2015 Aug.

HCV dsRNA-Activated Macrophages Inhibit HCV Replication in Hepatocytes.

Author information

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Shanghai Children's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
2
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Macrophages play critical roles in innate immune response in the liver. Whether macrophages participate in liver innate immunity against HCV replication is poorly understood.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this study was to investigate the role of macrophages in liver innate immunity against HCV replication.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Freshly isolated monocytes were purified from peripheral blood of healthy adult donors. Macrophages refer to 7-day-cultured monocytes in vitro. A hepatoma cell line (Huh7) was infected with HCV JFH-1 to generate in vitro HCV infectious system. RT-PCR was used to determine HCV RNA and mRNA levels of genes expression. ELISA was used to measure the protein level of interferon-α (IFN-α) and western blot was used to determine protein expression level of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3).

RESULTS:

HCV dsRNA induced the expression of type I IFN (IFN-α/β) in monocyte-derived macrophages. HCV dsRNA also induced the expression of TLR3 and IFN regulatory factor-7 (IRF-7), the key regulators of the IFN signaling pathway. When HCV JFH-1-infected Huh7 cells were co-cultured with macrophages activated with HCV dsRNA or incubated in media conditioned with supernatant (SN) from HCV dsRNA-activated macrophages, HCV replication was significantly suppressed. This macrophage SN action on HCV inhibition was mediated through type I IFN, which was evidenced by the observation that antibody to type I IFN receptor could neutralize the macrophages-mediated anti-HCV effect. The role of type I IFN in macrophages-mediated anti-HCV activity is further supported by the observation that HCV dsRNA-activated macrophages SN treatment induced the expression of several IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), ISG15, ISG56, OAS-1, OAS-2, MxA and Viperin in HCV-infected Huh7 cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

Macrophages may play an important role in liver innate immunity against HCV replication through a type I IFN-dependent mechanism.

KEYWORDS:

Hepatitis C Virus; Interferon; Macrophages; Toll-Like Receptor 3

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