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Modeling hepatitis C virus kinetics during liver transplantation reveals the role of the liver in virus clearance


 November 2021

[Full Text, Pubmed]


While the liver, specifically hepatocytes, are widely accepted as the main source of hepatitis C virus (HCV) production, the role of the liver/hepatocytes in clearance of circulating HCV remains unknown. Frequent HCV kinetic data were recorded and mathematically modeled from 5 liver-transplant patients throughout the anhepatic (absence of liver) phase and for 4 hours post-reperfusion. During the anhepatic phase, HCV remained at pre-anhepatic levels (n=3) or declined (n=2) with t1/2~1h. Immediately post-reperfusion, virus declined in a biphasic manner in 4 patients consisting of a rapid decline (t1/2=5min) followed by a slower decline (t1/2=67min). Consistent with the majority of patients in the anhepatic phase, when we monitored HCV clearance at 37°C from culture medium in the absence/presence of chronically infected hepatoma cells that were inhibited from secreting HCV, the HCV t1/2 in cell culture was longer in the absence of chronically HCV-infected cells. The results suggest that the liver plays a major role in the clearance of circulating HCV and that hepatocytes may be involved.

Louis Shekhtman, Miquel Navasa, Natasha Sansone, Gonzalo Crespo, Gitanjali Subramanya, Tje Lin Chung, E Fabian Cardozo-Ojeda, Sofía Pérez-del-Pulgar, Alan S. Perelson, Scott J. Cotler, Xavier Forns,  Susan L. Uprichard, Harel Dahari

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Loyola University Medical Center

Department of Medicine

Division of Hepatology

2160 S. First Ave
Mulcahy Center, Rm 1610

Maywood, IL 60153, USA


Phone: 708-216-4682

Fax: 708-216-6299

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