Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been repeatedly shown to play important roles in liver pathologies, including hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Egypt has the highest hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rate worldwide, predominantly involving genotype-4. Objectives: In this study, we attempted to characterize the miRNA profile of the poorly studied genotype 4 of HCV in chronically infected Egyptian patients to obtain a better understanding of the disease and its complications and help in the design of better management protocols. Patients and Methods:We analyzed the expression levels of a selected panel of 94 miRNAs in fresh liver biopsies collected from 50 Egyptian patients diagnosed with chronic HCV infection using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Nonparametric tests were used to analyze the expression level of each miRNA and association with the clinicopathological features of enrolled patients in this study. Results: Our results revealed differential expression levels of the analyzed miRNAs compared to the normal controls. Twenty-seven miRNAs (including miR-105, miR-147, miR-149-3p, and miR-196b) showed up-regulation, while 17 miRNAs (including miR-21, miR-122, miR-199a-3p, and miR-223) showed down-regulation. An inverse correlation was observed between levels of miR-95, miR-130a, and miR-142-5p with the blood albumin level. Increased expression levels of seven miRNAs (miR-29c, miR-30c, miR-126, miR-145, miR-199a, miR-199a-3p, and miR-222) were observed with severe chronic hepatic inflammation. Several deregulated miRNAs found in this study have been previously linked to chronic liver inflammation and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Conclusions: The identified expression profiles of some examined miRNAs might offer important points to consider for the treatment of naive patients and the management of chronically infected HCV patients in Egypt and around the world.
- Hepatitis C
- Liver cirrhosis
- Real-time polymerase chain reaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases