This observation indicates that caspase activation is not directly related to HCV mediated damage and suggests the involvement of HCV mediated immune response with Fas triggered hepatocyte apoptosis giving rise to several amplification loops . Similar findings were reported by others, who indicated in their study that the core protein could stimulate https://www.selleckchem.com/products/rg-7112.html selleck chemicals caspase-independent apoptosis at later stages of the disease giving relevance to the release of HCV particles from the host cells and to viral spread . It has been shown that some HCCs are resistant to Fas-mediated apoptosis directly through
the expression of HCV proteins or indirectly through up-regulation of Bcl-2 family members . Our data showed that both Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL RNA expression were significantly higher in HCC than in CH and NDT indicating late involvement of those genes in the cascade of HCV-associated hepatocarcinogenesis. We were also able to detect Bcl-2 gene expression in HepG2 cells starting from day 1 post-infection until the end of the experiment, whereas the expression of Bcl-xL was not visible until
day 28 when it started to be expressed and its expression was closely associated with the presence of HCV in tumor cells (Table 3) suggesting that Bcl-2 is tumor related whereas Bcl-xL is a viral related. In this context, Bcl-2 was linked to inhibition of apoptosis via interfering with either the recruitment NVP-BSK805 ic50 of procaspase 8 to Fas receptors  or by preventing the release of cytochrome
C . It has also been shown that the HCV core protein inhibits apoptosis at the mitochondrial level through augmentation of Bcl-xL expression with consequent inhibition of caspase 3 activation . The HCV core protein could induce apoptosis in the Fas death way although this is achieved through the activation of Bax and Bak, both are important mediators of p53 mitochondrial function [5, 36]. Our results showed an increase in Bak-RNA expression at an early stage of HCV infection of HepG2 cells, which is also observed in tissue samples obtained from both CH and HCC patients compared to NDT samples. Our results provided enough evidence that the Bak gene can induce apoptosis in HCC cells even in the presence of high levels of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene family members, which is in agreement with the findings Isoconazole of others . The results of gene expression in tissue samples show a significant correlation between Fas expression in HCC cases and the presence of cirrhosis or poorly differentiated tumors. We observed that FasL expression was significantly associated in CH patients with the grade of inflammation and the stage of fibrosis as well as with the presence of severe necro-inflammatory changes. Based on these results we conclude that aberrant expression of Fas and FasL in HCV-infected patients could be considered a marker for increased disease severity with a higher possibility of progression into cirrhosis and/or HCC.