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Virus Res. 1998 Aug;56(2):157-67.

Human hepatocyte clonal cell lines that support persistent replication of hepatitis C virus.

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


We previously found that a human T-cell leukemia virus type I infected T-cell line, MT-2, was susceptible to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and that cloned MT-2C cells could support HCV replication more persistently than the parental MT-2 cells. Recently we found that a non-neoplastic hepatocyte line, PH5CH, showed good susceptibility to HCV infection. In this study, we cloned PH5CH cells to obtain cells that supported more persistent HCV replication, and consequently three clones (PH5CH1, PH5CH7 and PH5CH8) in which intracellular HCV RNA could be detected at least 25 days postinoculation (p.i.) were obtained. Semi-quantitative analysis of HCV RNA indicated that HCV replicated in these cloned PH5CH cells was released into the culture medium. Semi-quantitative analysis of internalized HCV RNA after treatment of cloned PH5CH cells and parental PH5CH cells with proteinase K immediately after virus inoculation revealed that PH5CH1, PH5CH7 and PH5CH8 cells contained 10-fold higher levels of HCV RNA than low susceptible cloned PH5CH or parental PH5CH cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that HCV replication was maintained for 70-100 days in these three clonal lines when the temperature of cell culture after virus inoculation was reduced from 37 to 32 degrees C. Moreover, we demonstrated that interferon alpha had antiviral effect on HCV-infected PH5CH8 cells. The three PH5CH clones obtained in this study will provide a useful tool for the study of HCV replication and proliferation, and for development of an assay system for antiviral agents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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