Extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection occur in 40%-70% of HCV-infected patients. B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a typical extrahepatic manifestation frequently associated with HCV infection. The mechanism by which HCV infection of B cells leads to lymphoma remains unclear. Here we established HCV transgenic mice that express the full HCV genome in B cells (RzCD19Cre mice) and observed a 25.0% incidence of diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (22.2% in males and 29.6% in females) within 600 days after birth. Expression levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, as well as 32 different cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, were examined. The incidence of B-cell lymphoma was significantly correlated with only the level of soluble interleukin-2 receptor α subunit (sIL-2Rα) in RzCD19Cre mouse serum. All RzCD19Cre mice with substantially elevated serum sIL-2Rα levels (> 1000 pg/mL) developed B-cell lymphomas. Moreover, compared with tissues from control animals, the B-cell lymphoma tissues of RzCD19Cre mice expressed significantly higher levels of IL-2Rα. We show that the expression of HCV in B cells promotes non-Hodgkin-type diffuse B-cell lymphoma, and therefore, the RzCD19Cre mouse is a powerful model to study the mechanisms related to the development of HCV-associated B-cell lymphoma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology