[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/399285]
A/Pr Michael Beard
Dr Ming Qiao
Prof Shaun Mccoll
Brief description The majority of individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) show a slow progression of liver disease over a period of 10-20 years. This liver disease is primarily a result of the host immune response to liver cells (hepatocytes) infected with HCV. As part of this immune response there in an increase in the number of immune cells that infiltrate the liver. To date we do not fully understand the mechanims that attract these cells to the liver but a class of molecules called chemokines is the most likely candidate. Thus a greater understanding of the chemokines expressed in the liver, their modulation and role in attracting immune cells to the liver in HCV-related liver disease will help us understand the basic mechanisms of liver disease with the possibility of development of novel therapeutic strategies. In pilot studies we have shown that the chemokine interferon-inducible T cell alpha chemoattractant (I-TAC) is significantly increased in the liver of persons infected with HCV. I-TAC is a member of the CXCR3 ligand chemokine family that attracts lymphocytes to sites of inflammation and as such may play an important role in hepatitis C. We have also shown that hepatocytes express I-TAC and that HCV can upregulate expression of I-TAC in a laboratory model of HCV replication. This proposal plans to determine the molecular mechanisms of I-TAC expression in response to HCV replication and to investigate if I-TAC expression is unique for hepatits C or a general feature of viral infections of the liver. We also plan to determine the the role of I-TAC and other CXCR3 ligand family members in a mouse model of viral hepatitis through the use of CXCR3 ligand antagonists. These experiments will enhance or knowledge of the role of the CXCR3 ligands in hepatitis C and viral hepatitis in general.
Funding Amount $AUD 457,267.61
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant