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Post-transplant reactivation of hepatitis C virus: lymphocyte infiltration and the expression of adhesion molecules and their ligands in liver allografts

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Lipson K, Lappalainen M, Höckerstedt K, Lautenschlager I. Post-transplant reactivation of Hepatitis C virus: lymphocyte infiltration and the expression of adhesion molecules and their ligands in liver allografts. APMIS 2006;114:247–54.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence after liver transplantation has been associated with chronic rejection. Biopsies from 10 patients with post-transplant HCV were examined for expression of adhesion molecules ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and ELAM-1, number of lymphocytes positive for their ligands LFA-1, VLA-4, and SLeX, and activation markers MHC class II antigens and IL2-R by immunohistochemistry. The phenotypes of the graft-infiltrating lymphocytes were determined. Results were compared to those for patients with normal graft function or rejection. Five recipients with HCV reactivation and one with de novo HCV had a biopsy available showing induction of ICAM-1 in sinusoidal endothelium (p<0.05) and hepatocytes (p<0.01), and Class II antigens in hepatocytes (p<0.01), compared to normal controls. Lymphocytes in the graft infiltrate expressed LFA-1, VLA-4, and Class II antigens, but IL2-R was not significantly expressed. CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cells were observed. In our study, HCV recurrence was not associated with acute or chronic rejection, and the inflammation was due to the viral infection.

Keywords: Adhesion molecules; hepatitis C virus infection; liver transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: and Surgery 2: , Transplantation and Liver Surgery Unit, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki Transplant Unit Research Laboratory, Finland

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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