MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Grapefruit compound may help combat hepatitis C

Back to infectious disease news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Infectious Disease News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Grapefruit compound may help combat hepatitis C




A compound that naturally occurs in grapefruit and other citrus fruits may be able to block the secretion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from infected cells, a process mandatory to maintain chronic infection. A team of scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) report that HCV is bound to very low-density lipoprotein (vLDL, a so-called bad cholesterol) when it is secreted from liver cells and that the viral secretion mandatory to pass infection to other cells may be blocked by the common flavonoid naringenin.

If the results of this study extend to human patients, a combination of naringenin and antiviral medicine might allow patient to clear the virus from their livers. The report will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Hepatology and has been released online.



Grapefruit compound may help combat hepatitis C

By finding that HCV is secreted from infected cells by latching onto vLDL, we have identified a key pathway in the viral lifecycle, says Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, of the MGH-CEM, the papers lead author. These results suggest that lipid-lowering drugs, as well as supplements, such as naringenin, may be combined with traditional antiviral therapies to reduce or even eliminate HCV from infected patients.

HCV is the leading cause of chronic viral liver disease in the United States and infects about 3 percent of the world population. Current antiviral medications are effective in only half of infected patients, 70 percent of whom develop chronic infection that can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Since the virus does not integrate its genetic material into the DNA of infected cells the way HIV does, totally clearing the virus could be possible if new cells were not being infected by secreted virus.

Identifying the route by which HCV is released from cells introduces a new therapeutic target, says Martin Yarmush, MD, PhD, director of the MGH-CEM and the papers senior author. That pathways dependence on cholesterol metabolism could allow us to interfere with viral propagation to other cells and tissues, using tools already developed for atherosclerosis therapy. Yarmush is the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Grapefruits bitter taste is caused the presence of the flavonoid naringin, which is metabolized into naringenin, an antioxidant previously reported to help lower cholesterol levels. Considerable research has suggested that HCV infects liver cells by, in essence, hitching a ride onto the natural lipoprotein-cholesterol metabolic pathway. Since earlier evidence has shown that naringenin can reduce secretion of vLDL from liver cells, the scientists examined whether the compound might also lower HCV secretion from infected cells. Their experiments confirmed that naringenin does reduce the secretion of HCV from infected cell lines and showed that the compound inhibits the mechanism for secreting a specific lipoprotein that binds HCV.

This work presents the possibility that non-toxic levels of a dietary supplement, such as naringenin, could effectively block HCV secretion, says Raymond Chung, MD, MGH director of Hepatology and one of the study authors, This approach might eventually be used to treat patients who do not respond to or cannot take traditional interferon-based therapy or be used in combination with other agents to boost success rates.


Posted by: Mark    Source




Did you know?
A compound that naturally occurs in grapefruit and other citrus fruits may be able to block the secretion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from infected cells, a process mandatory to maintain chronic infection. A team of scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) report that HCV is bound to very low-density lipoprotein (vLDL, a so-called bad cholesterol) when it is secreted from liver cells and that the viral secretion mandatory to pass infection to other cells may be blocked by the common flavonoid naringenin.

Medicineworld.org: Grapefruit compound may help combat hepatitis C

SARS Main| SARS Abroad| SARS and Goverment| SARS Information in different languages| Media about SARS| Physicians resources for SARS| Reference information for SARS| Updates on SARS|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.