A new hypothesis of pathogenetic mechanism of viral hepatitis B and C

Med Hypotheses. 2001 Mar;56(3):405-8. doi: 10.1054/mehy.2000.1157.


The experimental data in recent years suggest apoptosis of liver cells plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of viral hepatitis. Firstly, the number of apoptotic hepatocytes in patients with hepatitis B or C is significantly higher than healthy objects. Secondly, the expression levels of Fas antigen in hepatocytes of patients with hepatitis B or C are closely correlated with inflammation activity. Thirdly, massive apoptosis of hepatocyte will result in fulminant hepatitis, while inhibition of apoptosis can prevent inflammation in experimental model of liver injury. And finally, the occurrence of hepatitis induced by CTL in transgenic mice is a process from hepatocyte apoptosis to liver necroinflammation. This paper will examine our current understanding of the possible relationship between hepatocellular apoptosis and the pathogenetic mechanism of hepatitis B and C.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Hepatitis B / immunology
  • Hepatitis B / physiopathology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / physiopathology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Hepatocytes / physiology
  • Hepatocytes / virology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological*