Pharmaceutical research

HCV J6/JFH1 tilts the capability of myeloid-derived dendritic cells to favor the induction of immunosuppression and Th17-related inflammatory cytokines.

PMID 23619596


How HCV virus affects the function of dendritic cells (DCs) and their ability to induce CD4+ T cell response remains not fully understood. This study was done to elucidate the impact of HCV on the function of DCs and on DC's capability to induce CD4+ T-cell response. Monocyte-derived DCs (MoDCs) were treated with cell-culture HCV (HCVcc). The effects of HCVcc on DC maturation, CD40L-induced DC maturation, and cytokine production and the capacity of DCs to induce Th cytokine production of allogeneic CD4+ T cells were evaluated. HCVcc exposure increased expression of both IL-6 and IL-10 by MoDCs. HCV-exposed MoDCs also selectively facilitated allogeneic CD4+ T cells to further produce Th17-related cytokines interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, and IL-17A. Pretreatment of IL-17A inhibited HCV production in Huh7.5 cells, suggesting that induction of Th17 cells may be beneficial to host anti-HCV immunity. Paradoxically, induction of IL-10 expression and the failure of HCV-exposed MoDCs to facilitate other Th cell development may hinder the anti-viral immunity. This study highlights both the therapeutic potential of IL-17A in treating HCV infection and the cautious consideration of HCV-induced immunosuppression in DC-based therapy.