Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.
Paracrine signals from liver sinusoidal endothelium regulate hepatitis C virus replication
Article first published online: 18 DEC 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. HEPATOLOGY published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 375–384, February 2014
How to Cite
Rowe, I. A., Galsinh, S. K., Wilson, G. K., Parker, R., Durant, S., Lazar, C., Branza-Nichita, N., Bicknell, R., Adams, D. H., Balfe, P. and McKeating, J. A. (2014), Paracrine signals from liver sinusoidal endothelium regulate hepatitis C virus replication. Hepatology, 59: 375–384. doi: 10.1002/hep.26571
Funded by the MRC, the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham, the Romanian Academy Project 3 of the Institute of Biochemistry, and the European Social Fund. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.
See Editorial on Page 363
- Issue published online: 29 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 18 DEC 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 14 JUN 2013 09:41AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 31 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 2 JAN 2013
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of global morbidity, causing chronic liver injury that can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The liver is a large and complex organ containing multiple cell types, including hepatocytes, sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC), Kupffer cells, and biliary epithelial cells. Hepatocytes are the major reservoir supporting HCV replication; however, the role of nonparenchymal cells in the viral lifecycle remains largely unexplored. LSEC secrete factors that promote HCV infection and transcript analysis identified bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) as a candidate endothelial-expressed proviral molecule. Recombinant BMP4 increased HCV replication and neutralization of BMP4 abrogated the proviral activity of LSEC-conditioned media. Importantly, BMP4 expression was negatively regulated by vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) by way of a VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) primed activation of p38 MAPK. Consistent with our in vitro observations, we demonstrate that in normal liver VEGFR-2 is activated and BMP4 expression is suppressed. In contrast, in chronic liver disease including HCV infection where there is marked endothelial cell proliferation, we observed reduced endothelial cell VEGFR-2 activation and a concomitant increase in BMP4 expression. Conclusion: These studies identify a role for LSEC and BMP4 in HCV infection and highlight BMP4 as a new therapeutic target for treating individuals with liver disease. (Hepatology 2014;59:375–384)