Interferon-lambda in the immune response to hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2010 Aug;30(8):585-90. doi: 10.1089/jir.2010.0060.


Approximately 500 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), and are therefore at an increased risk for developing fatal liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The intracellular antiviral responses induced by interferon (IFN)-alpha/-beta and/or IFN-gamma play critical roles in the pathogenesis of HBV and HCV infection, and the function of IFN-lambda in the host immune response to these viruses is beginning to be revealed. A better understanding of how IFN-lambda influences HBV or HCV persistence is not only important for understanding the mechanisms of chronic virus infection, but also may lead to new approaches for improved antiviral therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Cytokines / therapeutic use
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B virus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic* / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology*
  • Mice
  • Prevalence


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cytokines
  • interferon-lambda protein, mouse