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J Hepatol. 1997 Sep;27(3):445-54.

Analysis of the cell tropism of HCV by using in vitro HCV-infected human lymphocytes and hepatocytes.

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  • 1Virology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.



We recently established two hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication systems, using MT-2, a human T-cell leukemia virus type I-infected human T-cell line, and PH5CH, a non-neoplastic human hepatocyte line immortalized with simian virus 40 large T antigen. These HCV replication systems were used to assess the infective potencies of seven sera containing more than 10(6) HCV genomes per ml obtained from HCV-positive blood donors.


The results showed that these sera had different infectivities for MT-2 and PH5CH cells. One of the seven sera, 1B-1, was more infective for MT-2 cells than PH5CH cells, whereas all the sera except serum 1B-1 were more infective for PH5CH cells than for MT-2 cells. Intracellular HCV RNA could be detected at least 30 days after inoculation with three of the sera. These findings suggested that the infective potency of each serum depends on the type of target cells. To further investigate HCV replication in these cells, we examined the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) populations of HCV recovered from both MT-2 and PH5CH cells at 8 days postinoculation. The results revealed that the shift to limited HVR1 populations from the quasi-species of HVR1 populations in both cells usually occurred within 8 days after virus inoculation. Furthermore, in two of four sera, the predominant HVR1 populations in MT-2 and PH5CH cells appeared to be different.


These results suggest that HCV exhibits cell tropism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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