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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 958231, 8 pages
Research Article

Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Gene Expression Remains Broadly Altered Years after Successful Interferon-Based Hepatitis C Virus Treatment

1VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
2Division of Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5107, USA

Received 12 May 2015; Revised 24 July 2015; Accepted 27 July 2015

Academic Editor: Pavel Bostik

Copyright © 2015 Paul Ravi Waldron and Mark Holodniy. 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.


Background. Inflammatory gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) is altered in chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection. Duration of changes after pegylated interferon- (peg-IFN-) based HCV treatment is unclear. Methods. PBMC mRNA expression of 184 inflammatory response genes was analyzed (nCounter GX Human Inflammation Kit, Nanostring) from peg-IFN treatment nonresponders (NR, ), sustained virologic responders (SVR, ), and spontaneous clearers (SC, ). Logistic regression was used for comparison. Results. Median time from last treatment was 2 and 2.7 years in SVR and NR, respectively (p = NS). Mean mRNA counts were significantly different for 42 and 29 genes comparing SVR to SC patients and NR to SC, respectively, and no genes comparing SVR to NR. Differential expression of 24 genes was significantly different in both SVR and NR groups compared to SC. Among these 24 acute and chronic inflammatory cascade genes, significant upregulation was noted for proinflammatory transcription regulators Fos, CEBPB, and MyD88 in SVR and NR compared to SC. HDAC4 was significantly downregulated in SVR and NR compared to the SC group. Conclusions. PBMC inflammatory gene expression patterns in SVR resemble NR more than SC patients. A generalized inflammatory response persists in PBMCs long after successful peg-IFN treatment for HCV infection.