Reversal of T Cell Exhaustion in Chronic HCV Infection

Sylwia Osuch, Karin J. Metzner, Kamila Caraballo Cortés
2020 Viruses  
The long-term consequences of T cell responses' impairment in chronic HCV infection are not entirely characterized, although they may be essential in the context of the clinical course of infection, re-infection, treatment-mediated viral clearance and vaccine design. Furthermore, it is unclear whether a complete reinvigoration of HCV-specific T cell response may be feasible. In most studies, attempting to reverse the effects of compromised immune response quality by specific blockades of
more » ... e immune regulators, a restoration of functional competence of HCV-specific T cells was shown. This implies that HCV-induced immune dysfunction may be reversible. The advent of highly successful, direct-acting antiviral treatment (DAA) for chronic HCV infection instigated investigation whether the treatment-driven elimination of viral antigens restores T cell function. Most of studies demonstrated that DAA treatment may result in at least partial restoration of T cell immune function. They also suggest that a complete restoration comparable to that seen after spontaneous viral clearance may not be attained, pointing out that long-term antigenic stimulation imprints an irreversible change on the T cell compartment. Understanding the mechanisms of HCV-induced immune dysfunction and barriers to immune restoration following viral clearance is of utmost importance to diminish the possible long-term consequences of chronic HCV infection.
doi:10.3390/v12080799 pmid:32722372 fatcat:rbko3ceyefen7gdi27layqujwe