March 25, 2014

Interaction between hepatitis C virus and metabolic factors

Y Kawaguchi & T Mizuta, 2014, Interaction between hepatitis C virus and metabolic factorsWorld Journal of Gastroenterology, Volume 20.

ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection disrupts the normal metabolism processes, but is also influenced by several of the host’s metabolic factors. An obvious and significantly detrimental pathophysiological feature of HCV infection is insulin resistance in hepatic and peripheral tissues. Substantial research efforts have been put forth recently to elucidate the molecular mechanism of HCV-induced insulin resistance, and several cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, have been identified as important contributors to the development of insulin resistance in the distant peripheral tissues of HCV-infected patients and animal models. The demonstrated etiologies of HCV-induced whole-body insulin resistance include oxidative stress, lipid metabolism abnormalities, hepatic steatosis and iron overload. In addition, myriad effects of this condition have been characterized, including glucose intolerance, resistance to antiviral therapy, progression of hepatic fibrosis, development of hepatocellular carcinoma, and general decrease in quality of life. Metabolic-related conditions and disorders, such as visceral obesity and diabetes mellitus, have been shown to synergistically enhance HCV-induced metabolic disturbance, and are associated with worse prognosis. Yet, the molecular interactions between HCV-induced metabolic disturbance and host-associated metabolic factors remain largely unknown. The diet and lifestyle recommendations for chronic hepatitis C are basically the same as those for obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Specifically, patients are suggested to restrict their dietary iron intake, abstain from alcohol and tobacco, and increase their intake of green tea and coffee (to attain the beneficial effects of caffeine and polyphenols). While successful clinical management of HCV-infected patients with metabolic disorders has also been achieved with some anti-diabetic (i.e., metformin) and anti-lipid (i.e., statins) medications, it is recommended that sulfonylurea and insulin be avoided.

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