Increased liver mast cell recruitment in patients with chronic C virus-related hepatitis and histologically documented steatosis

B. Franceschini, C. Russo, N. Dioguardi, F. Grizzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is still one of the major causes of chronic viral infection worldwide, and hepatic steatosis is a frequent pathological finding in patients with chronic HCV-related diseases. It is unclear whether the steatosis is associated with host factors or the virus itself, although a consistent relationship has been found between steatosis and a necro-inflammatory reaction with the increased secretion of immuno-regulators. A primary sources of inflammatory mediators are mast cells (MCs) bone marrow-derived cells that are detected in both normal and diseased livers. We determined MC density and correlated it with the fibrosis, inflammatory reaction and steatosis observed in the liver biopsies of patients affected by HCV with or without steatosis. All the histological features were assessed using a computer-aided image analysis system. There was a statistically significant difference in MC density between the HCV-infected patients with and without steatosis, with the lower mean value being detected in those without (P < 0.02). Furthermore, a nonstatistically significant difference in fibrosis and inflammation between the two patient groups was found. In conclusion, this is the first study showing a significant increase in MC density in the tissues of patients with chronic HCV infection and histologically documented steatosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-555
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fibrosis
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Image analysis
  • Inflammation
  • Mast cells
  • Steatosis

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