The altered expression of α1 and β3 subunits of the gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor is related to the hepatitis C virus infection

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Jul;31(7):1537-42. doi: 10.1007/s10096-011-1475-8. Epub 2011 Nov 13.


The modulation of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA A) receptors activity was observed in several chronic hepatitis failures, including hepatitis C. The expression of GABA A receptor subunits α1 and β3 was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) originated from healthy donors. The aim of the study was to evaluate if GABA A α1 and β3 expression can also be observed in PBMCs from chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients and to evaluate a possible association between their expression and the course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. GABA A α1- and β3-specific mRNAs presence and a protein expression in PBMCs from healthy donors and CHC patients were screened by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot, respectively. In patients, HCV RNA was determined in sera and PBMCs. It was shown that GABA A α1 and β3 expression was significantly different in PBMCs from CHC patients and healthy donors. In comparison to healthy donors, CHC patients were found to present an increase in the expression of GABA A α1 subunit and a decrease in the expression of β3 subunit in their PBMCs. The modulation of α1 and β3 GABA A receptors subunits expression in PBMCs may be associated with ongoing or past HCV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blotting, Western
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Male
  • Protein Subunits / biosynthesis
  • Protein Subunits / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Receptors, GABA-A / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Young Adult


  • Protein Subunits
  • RNA, Viral
  • Receptors, GABA-A