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Hepatitis C Infection and Alcohol Use: A Dangerous Mix for the Liver and Antiviral Immunity


  • The work presented at this symposium was supported by grants AA12863 (SW), AA14372 (GS), and AA13301 (SJP) from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Reprint requests: Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, LRB 215, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605; Fax: 508-856-4770; E-mail:


This article presents the proceedings of a symposium presented at the meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, held in Santa Barbara, California, in June 2005. The organizers and chairs were Sam Zakhari and Gyongyi Szabo. The presentations included (1) Mitochondrial Abnormalities Induced by Hepatitis C –Alcohol Interaction by Steven Weinman; (2) Effects of Acute and Chronic Ethanol on Innate Antiviral Signaling Pathways, Hepatitis C Replication, and Human Liver Cell Transcription by Stephen Polyak; (3) Ethanol Alters Dendritic Cell Function In Vivo and Impairs the Subsequent Cellular Immune Responses to Hepatitis C Proteins by Costica Aloman; and (4) Pathogenic Interactions Between Hepatitis C Virus and Alcohol Use in Humans: Dendritic Cells as Common Targets by Gyongyi Szabo. This symposium summarizes the state of knowledge of cellular and molecular pathways by which alcohol and HCV have pathogenic interactions resulting in depression of the immune response and liver damage in chronic HCV infection.