Down-regulation of heme oxygenase-1 by hepatitis C virus infection in vivo and by the in vitro expression of hepatitis C core protein

Maher Y. Abdalla, Bradley E. Britigan, Feng Wen, Michael Icardi, Michael L. McCormick, Douglas R. LaBrecque, Michael Voigt, Kyle E. Brown, Warren N. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Antioxidant enzymes, including heme oxygenase (HO)-1, are an important line of defense against oxidant-mediated liver injury. Because hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection appears to increase the production of oxidants, we evaluated levels of antioxidant enzymes and HO-1 in liver-biopsy samples from HCV-infected patients by immunoblot and semiquantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. In HCV-infected liver samples, levels of immunoreactive HO-1 and HO-1 mRNA were >4-fold lower than levels in control samples, but levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase were unaffected. Immunohistochemical results confirmed the decreased expression of HO-1 in hepatocytes from liver samples from HCV-infected patients but not in those from patients with other chronic liver diseases. The expression of HO-1 was also reduced in cell lines that stably express HCV core protein, which suggests that core gene products are capable of regulating the expression of HO-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1118
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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