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Hepatitis C virus infection and related liver disease: the quest for the best animal model

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Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) making the virus the most common cause of liver failure and transplantation. HCV is estimated to chronically affect 130 million individuals and to lead to more than 350,000 deaths per year worldwide. A vaccine is currently not available. The recently developed direct acting antivirals (DAAs) have markedly increased the efficacy of the standard of care but are not efficient enough to completely cure all chronically infected patients and their toxicity limits their use in patients with advanced liver disease, co-morbidity or transplant recipients. Because of the host restriction, which is limited to humans and non-human primates, in vivo study of HCV infection has been hampered since its discovery more than 20 years ago. The chimpanzee remains the most physiological model to study the innate and adaptive immune responses, but its use is ethically difficult and is now very restricted and regulated. The development of a small animal model that allows robust HCV infection has been achieved using chimeric liver immunodeficient mice, which are therefore not suitable for studying the adaptive immune responses. Nevertheless, these models allowed to go deeply in the comprehension of virus-host interactions and to assess different therapeutic approaches. The immunocompetent mouse models that were recently established by genetic humanization have shown an interesting improvement concerning the study of the immune responses but are still limited by the absence of the complete robust life cycle of the virus. In this review, we will focus on the relevant available animal models of HCV infection and their usefulness for deciphering the HCV life cycle and virus-induced liver disease, as well as for the development and evaluation of new therapeutics. We will also discuss the perspectives on future immunocompetent mouse models and the hurdles to their development.
Keywords
hepatocellular carcinoma, liver disease, antivirals, animal models, hepatitis C virus, ADAPTIVE IMMUNE-RESPONSES, CHIMERIC HUMAN LIVERS, immunocompetent mouse model, PROTEASE INHIBITOR BILN-2061, ACTING ANTIVIRAL AGENTS, HUMAN CELL ENGRAFTMENT, RECEPTOR-GAMMA CHAIN, LYMPHOID-SYSTEM MICE, TYROSINEMIA TYPE-I, MOUSE MODEL, HUMAN HEPATOCYTES

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Mailly, Laurent, Eric Robinet, Philip Meuleman, Thomas F Baumert, and Mirjam Zeisel. 2013. “Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Related Liver Disease: The Quest for the Best Animal Model.” Frontiers in Microbiology 4.
APA
Mailly, L., Robinet, E., Meuleman, P., Baumert, T. F., & Zeisel, M. (2013). Hepatitis C virus infection and related liver disease: the quest for the best animal model. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 4.
Vancouver
1.
Mailly L, Robinet E, Meuleman P, Baumert TF, Zeisel M. Hepatitis C virus infection and related liver disease: the quest for the best animal model. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY. 2013;4.
MLA
Mailly, Laurent, Eric Robinet, Philip Meuleman, et al. “Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Related Liver Disease: The Quest for the Best Animal Model.” FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY 4 (2013): n. pag. Print.
@article{4314482,
  abstract     = {Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) making the virus the most common cause of liver failure and transplantation. HCV is estimated to chronically affect 130 million individuals and to lead to more than 350,000 deaths per year worldwide. A vaccine is currently not available. The recently developed direct acting antivirals (DAAs) have markedly increased the efficacy of the standard of care but are not efficient enough to completely cure all chronically infected patients and their toxicity limits their use in patients with advanced liver disease, co-morbidity or transplant recipients. Because of the host restriction, which is limited to humans and non-human primates, in vivo study of HCV infection has been hampered since its discovery more than 20 years ago. The chimpanzee remains the most physiological model to study the innate and adaptive immune responses, but its use is ethically difficult and is now very restricted and regulated. The development of a small animal model that allows robust HCV infection has been achieved using chimeric liver immunodeficient mice, which are therefore not suitable for studying the adaptive immune responses. Nevertheless, these models allowed to go deeply in the comprehension of virus-host interactions and to assess different therapeutic approaches. The immunocompetent mouse models that were recently established by genetic humanization have shown an interesting improvement concerning the study of the immune responses but are still limited by the absence of the complete robust life cycle of the virus. In this review, we will focus on the relevant available animal models of HCV infection and their usefulness for deciphering the HCV life cycle and virus-induced liver disease, as well as for the development and evaluation of new therapeutics. We will also discuss the perspectives on future immunocompetent mouse models and the hurdles to their development.},
  articleno    = {212},
  author       = {Mailly, Laurent and Robinet, Eric and Meuleman, Philip and Baumert, Thomas F and Zeisel, Mirjam},
  issn         = {1664-302X},
  journal      = {FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {hepatocellular carcinoma,liver disease,antivirals,animal models,hepatitis C virus,ADAPTIVE IMMUNE-RESPONSES,CHIMERIC HUMAN LIVERS,immunocompetent mouse model,PROTEASE INHIBITOR BILN-2061,ACTING ANTIVIRAL AGENTS,HUMAN CELL ENGRAFTMENT,RECEPTOR-GAMMA CHAIN,LYMPHOID-SYSTEM MICE,TYROSINEMIA TYPE-I,MOUSE MODEL,HUMAN HEPATOCYTES},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {11},
  title        = {Hepatitis C virus infection and related liver disease: the quest for the best animal model},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2013.00212},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2013},
}

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