IFN-alpha receptor-1 upregulation in PBMC from HCV naïve patients carrying CC genotype. Possible role of IFN-lambda

Eleonora Lalle, Licia Bordi, Claudia Caglioti, Anna Rosa Garbuglia, Concetta Castilletti, Chiara Taibi, Francesca Cristofari, Maria Rosaria Capobianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Aims: IL-28B gene polymorphisms predict better therapeutic response and spontaneous clearance of HCV. Moreover, higher expression of IFN-lambda has been reported in patients with the rs12979860 CC favourable genotype. The study aim was to establish possible relationships between IL-28B rs12979860 genotypes and expression of IFN-alpha receptor-1 (IFNAR-1) in naïve HCV patients, and to explore the possible role of IFN-lambda. Methods: IFNAR-1 mRNA levels were measured in PBMC from naïve patients with chronic hepatitis C with different IL-28 genotypes. The ability of IFN-lambda to up-regulate the expression of IFNAR-1 was established in PBMC from healthy donors carrying different IL-28B genotypes. Results: Lower IFNAR-1 mRNA levels were observed in PBMC from HCV-infected naïve patients as compared to healthy donors. In healthy donors, IFNAR-1 mRNA levels were independent from IL-28B genotype, while in HCV patients, an increasing gradient was observed in TT vs CT vs CC carriers. In the latter group, a direct correlation between IFNAR-1 and endogenous IL-28B expression was observed. Moreover, IFN-lambda up-regulated IFNAR-1 expression in normal PBMC in a time-and dose-dependent manner, with a more effective response in CC vs TT carriers. Conclusion: Endogenous levels of IFN-lambda may be responsible for partial restoration of IFNAR-1 expression in HCV patients with favourable IL-28 genotype. This, in turn, may confer to CC carriers a response advantage to either endogenous or exogenous IFN-alpha, representing the biological basis for the observed association between CC genotype and favourable outcome of either natural infection (clearance vs chronicization) or IFN therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere93434
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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