13 CD81 is also up-regulated in HCV-infected and MC patients and

13 CD81 is also up-regulated in HCV-infected and MC patients and increases with viral load.14 Therefore, B cells with anti-HCV surface immunoglobulins receive a strong proliferation signal through binding of the HCV-specific BCR and viral binding to CD81.15 Furthermore, experimental sequencing of clonal immunoglobulin variable regions from both MC and HCV-associated NHL patients shows restricted expression of VH and VL genes (VH1-69 and VκA27) and

evidence of somatic hypermutation, suggesting exposure and response to a common antigen.16 Such sequence analysis has allowed identification of premalignant oligoclonal cell populations in MC patients years before lymphoma development.17 Whether HCV is CP-690550 cost this common antigen has been demonstrated by research from Stanford School Medical Center. The group showed that both normal B cells and HCV-associated B-NHL preferentially expressed the VH1-69 gene in response to E218 and that the BCRs from an HCV-associated B-NHL bound E2.19 This provides compelling evidence for the role of HCV and mechanism of antigen drive in learn more B-NHL. This concept is already accepted in gastric MALT and Helicobacter pylori.20 However, despite differences in antigenic origin, the outcomes are similar: chronic B cell proliferation and malignant

lymphomagenesis. The jump from lymphoproliferation to malignancy may require a second “hit and run” transforming event such as the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 rearrangement. The translocation t(14;18) is significantly associated with chronic HCV infection,20 particularly in MC.21 Moreover,

research has identified B cell clonal expansion with this translocation in MC22 and HCV-positive patients with MALT lymphoma.23 However, whether HCV is directly mutagenic or responsible for a clonal B cell population that becomes vulnerable to transforming mutations remains unclear. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated a causal relationship between HCV and B-NHL (Table 1). However, the odds ratios are moderate (2-3 on average) MCE in comparison to HCV and hepatocellular carcinoma. One meta-analysis reviewed data from 23 studies (4,049 NHL patients and 1,813,480 controls) and found a strong association (odds ratio [OR] 5.70).24 It should be noted that studies reporting a significant association have originated from countries with a high HCV prevalence, such as Italy,25 Egypt,26 and Japan,27 as opposed to low in Northern Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom.28 These findings echo the north-south divide in European HCV prevalence, with recent figures of 0.1%-1%, 0.2%-1.2%, and 2%-5%-3%-5% quoted for Northern, Central, and Southern Europe, respectively.

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