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Munechika Enjoji, Makoto Nakamuta, Naoko Kinukawa, Rie Sugimoto, Ken-ichi Noguchi, Satoru Tsuruta, Masataka Iwao, Kazuhiro Kotoh, Hiroaki Iwamoto, Hajime Nawata
Med Sci Monit 2000; 6(5): BR841-844
Low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) has been proposed as a candidate receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV). According to previous reports, free beta-lipoproteins in a human serum may regulate the rate of hepatocyte infection by competing with the virus. Therefore, serum HCV levels should be regulated by the rise and fall of serum beta-lipoproteins since the infection rate of virions influences HCV replication in hepatocytes and release of virions by hepatocytes. In this study, we examined the relationship between serum beta-lipoproteins and HCV-antigen (Ag) levels in patients with chronic type C hepatitis. Patients were selected based on strict criteria to eliminate other factors that might influence serum HCV levels. Serum concentrations of beta-lipoproteins and HCV-Ag were measured two or more times within 3 months for each patient. The result showed that HCV-Ag levels were nagatively correlated with the increased beta-lipoproteins. The results support the concept that LDLR is a HCV receptor and that beta-lipoproteins competitively inhibit the infection of hepatocytes with HCV through the LDLR.