Immunopathogenesis of hepatitis C virus infection and hepatic fibrosis: New insights into antifibrotic therapy in chronic hepatitis C

Rosângela Teixeira, Luis A. Marcos, Scott L. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Fibrosis and cirrhosis represent the consequences of a sustained wound-healing response to chronic liver injury of any cause. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) has emerged as a leading cause of cirrhosis in the USA and throughout the world. HCV may induce fibrogenesis directly by hepatic stellate cell activation or indirectly by promoting oxidative stress and apoptosis of infected cells. The ultimate result of chronic HCV injury is the accumulation of extracellular matrix with high density type I collagen within the subendothelial space of Disse, culminating in cirrhosis with hepatocellular dysfunction. The treatment of hepatitis C with the combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin is still both problematic and costly, has suboptimal efficacy, serious side effects and a high level of intolerance, and is contraindicated in many patients. Hence, new approaches have assumed greater importance, for which there is an urgent need. The sustained progress in understanding the pathophysiology of hepatic fibrosis in the past two decades has increased the possibility of developing drugs specifically targeting the fibrogenic process. Future efforts should identify genetic markers associated with fibrosis risk in order to tailor the treatment of HCV infection based on genetically regulated pathways of injury and/or fibrosis. Such advances will expand the arsenal to overcome liver fibrosis, particularly in patients with hepatic diseases who have limited treatment options, such as those patients with chronic hepatitis C who have a high risk of fibrosis progression and recurrent HCV disease after liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-595
Number of pages17
JournalHepatology Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Antifibrotic therapy
  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Immuno pathogenesis
  • Liver fibrosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunopathogenesis of hepatitis C virus infection and hepatic fibrosis: New insights into antifibrotic therapy in chronic hepatitis C'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this