Hepatitis C virus RNA replication is resistant to tumour necrosis factor-α

Michael Frese, Kerstin Barth, Artur Kaul, Volker Lohmann, Verena Schwärzle, Ralf Bartenschlager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


It was demonstrated using self-replicating hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNAs that both types of interferons (IFNs) (in particular IFN-α and IFN-γ) are potent inhibitors of HCV replication in Huh-7 cells. Because IFN-γ and tumour necrosis factor (TNF -α trigger a partially overlapping set of antiviral defence mechanisms, it is tempting to speculate that TNF-α also inhibits HCV replication. However, this study shows that TNF-α does not affect HCV protein and RNA synthesis, nor does it synergistically enhance the inhibitory effect of IFN-γ. Taken together, these results demonstrate that HCV replication in Huh-7 cells is highly resistant to TNF-7. It is, therefore, unlikely that the increased production of TNF-α, which is seen in many hepatitis C patients, contributes to HCV clearance by inducing antiviral defence mechanisms in infected hepatocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1259
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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