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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2012, Article ID 647581, 7 pages
Review Article

Biological Significance of HCV in Various Kinds of Lymphoid Cells

Division of Gastroenterology, Tohoku University Hospital, 1-1 Seiryo-Machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan

Received 16 September 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editor: David C. Straus

Copyright © 2012 Yasuteru Kondo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It has been reported that HCV can infect not only hepatocytes but also various kinds of lymphoid cells. Although many reports have described the biological significance of lymphotropic HCV, the issue remains controversial since the target lymphoid cells might have various kinds of functions in the immune system. One of the important roles of lymphoid cells in HCV replication is being a reservoir of HCV. Several groups described the detection of HCV-RNA in lymphoid cells after HCV eradication in plasma. Another important role of lymphotropic HCV is that it acts as a carcinogenic agent and induces immune dysfunction. In this paper, we summarize the reports regarding the biological significance of lymphotropic HCV in representative lymphoid cells.