The low-density lipoprotein receptor has been proposed as a candidate receptor for the Hepatitis C virus.
Competitive inhibition of Hepatitis C binding to the low-density lipoprotein receptor by low-density lipoprotein has been shown in vitro.
If similar inhibition occurs in vivo, an elevated serum concentration of beta- lipoproteins may reduce the efficiency of infecting hepatocytes with Hepatitis C.
This may occur by competitively inhibiting Hepatitis C viral receptor binding.
Dr Albert Min and colleagues from New York investigated the role of baseline lipid values in influencing the outcome of Hepatitis C treatment.
| Early viral response occurred in all 99 patients|
The investigative team conducted a retrospective chart review of patients treated with an interferon-based regimen at their liver and gastroenterology clinics between 1998 and 2004.
Of 99 patients enrolled in the study, 49 had Hepatitis C genotype 1, and 50 patients had genotype 2 or 3 infection.
The team documented early viral response, end-of-treatment response, and sustained viral response in 99, 88, and 77 patients, respectively.
Low density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels prior to treatment were found to be higher in patients with positive early viral response, end-of-treatment response, and sustained viral response.
The team observed that this difference remained significant independent of age.
Multivariate analysis controlling for genotype and age showed that the higher the cholesterol and low density lipoprotein levels prior to treatment, the greater the odds of responding to treatment.
Dr Min's team concludes, “Having higher serum low density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels before treatment may be significant prognostic indicators for treatment outcome of those with chronic Hepatitis C infection, particularly in genotypes 1 and 2.”