Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this work was to assess the role of low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) on peripheral lymphocytes as a candidate receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in patients with chronic HCV both without interferon treatment and after interferon treatment in comparison with a control group. Background HCV is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in Egypt. It is considered the main cause of hepatic morbidity in Egypt, with progression to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Pioneering studies have reported the involvement of the LDLR in the cellular entry of HCV. LDLR was found to play a role in the pathogenesis of HCV infection. Materials and methods Peripheral blood lymphocytes were isolated from 40 patients with chronic HCV without interferon treatment and 20 patients with HCV after interferon treatment. Quantification of LDLR expression was performed by flow cytometry and the results were compared with those of 20 normal volunteers as a control group. Results There was a significant difference between the mean ± SD of LDLR% between HCV cases (89.08 ± 4.89), post-interferon treatment cases (57.45 ± 4.72), and the control group (54.69 ± 8.48). There was a significant positive correlation between LDLR%, LDLR mean fluorescence intensity, and viral load. Conclusion There was a significant positive correlation between the amount of LDLR expression on peripheral lymphocytes and viral load as quantified by PCR. This indicates the involvement of LDLR in the pathogenesis of HCV infections.