Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24905490
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.05.040S0168-8278(14)00388-2
J. Hepatol. 2014 Oct; 61(4): 770-6
HCV requires host lipid metabolism for replication, and apolipoproteins have been implicated in the response to treatment.We examined plasma apolipoprotein concentrations in three cohorts of patients: mono-infected patients with symptomatic acute hepatitis C (aHCV); those undergoing treatment for chronic hepatitis C (cHCV); and HIV/HCV co-infected patients being treated for their chronic hepatitis C. We also evaluated associations between apolipoproteins and IL28B polymorphisms, a defined genetic determinant of viral clearance.Plasma apolipoprotein H (ApoH) levels were significantly higher in patients who achieved spontaneous clearance or responded to pegylated-interferon/ribavirin therapy. Strikingly, patients carrying the IL28B rs12979860 CC SNP correlated with the plasma concentration of ApoH in all three cohorts. Both ApoH and IL28B CC SNP were associated with HCV clearance in univariate analysis. Additional multivariate analysis revealed that the association between IL28B and HCV clearance was closely linked to that of Apo H and HCV clearance, suggesting that both belong to the same biological pathway to clearance. The association between IL28B CC SNP and ApoH was not observed in healthy individuals, suggesting that early post-infection events trigger differential ApoH expression in an IL28B allele dependent manner.This relationship identifies ApoH as the first induced protein quantitative trait associated with IL28B, and characterises a novel host factor implicated in HCV clearance.