Hepatitis C virus itself kills liver cells

February 6th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, February 6 (ANI): While liver disease in hepatitis C patients is thought to be caused by the immune systems attack on the cells in the infected organ, University of Alberta researchers report finding that the virus behind the disease itself kills liver cells.
Michael Joyce, who led the study, has revealed that his team transplanted human liver cells into mice, which lack an adaptive immune system.
He said that the team later infected the transplanted cells with the hepatitis C virus.
He and his colleagues found the virus damaging liver cells itself, and thereby causing them to die.
The researchers also found that hepatitis C causes inflammation, which is the second step in liver disease.
Joyce said that his teams finding shed new light on the virus, and gave more targets for therapy.
His study has been reported in the journal PLoS Pathogens. (ANI)

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