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Tu T.,University of Adelaide | Tu T.,Centenary Institute | Tu T.,University of Sydney | Budzinska M.A.,Centenary Institute | And 5 more authors.
Liver International | Year: 2015

Although chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a known risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the steps involved in the progression from normal liver to HCC are poorly understood. In this review, we apply five conceptual models, previously proposed by Vineis et al. to explain carcinogenesis in general, to explore the possible steps involved in the initiation and evolution of HBV-associated HCC. Available data suggest that the most suitable and inclusive model is based on evolution of hepatocyte subpopulations. In this evolutionary model, HCC-associated changes are driven by selection and subsequent clonal expansion of phenotypically altered hepatocyte subpopulations in the microenvironment of the HBV-infected liver. This model can incorporate the wide range of mechanisms proposed to play a role in the initiation of HCC including oncogenic HBV proteins, integration of HBV DNA and chronic inflammation of the liver. The model may assist in the early prevention, detection and treatment of HCC and may guide future studies of the initiation of HBV-associated HCC. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Gorrell M.D.,University of Sydney | Zekry A.,University of New South Wales | Mccaughan G.W.,University of Sydney | Mccaughan G.W.,Aw Morrow Gastroenterology And Liver Center | Lloyd A.,University of New South Wales
Hepatology | Year: 2011

Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major public health problem, with nearly 170 million infected individuals worldwide. Current treatment for chronic infection is a combination of pegylated IFN-a2 and ribavirin (RBV); however, this treatment is effective in fewer than 50% of patients infected with HCV genotype 1 or 4. Recent studies identified the chemokine CXCL10 (also known as IP-10) as an important negative prognostic biomarker. Given that CXCL10 mediates chemoattraction of activated lymphocytes, it is counterintuitive that this chemokine correlates with therapeutic nonresponsiveness. Herein, we offer new insight into this paradox and provide evidence that CXCL10 in the plasma of patients chronically infected with HCV exists in an antagonist form, due to in situ amino-terminal truncation of the protein. We further demonstrated that dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4; also known as CD26), possibly in combination with other proteases, mediates the generation of the antagonist form(s) of CXCL10. These data offer what we believe to be the first evidence for CXCL10 antagonism in human disease and identify a possible factor contributing to the inability of patients to clear HCV. © 2011 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Calabro S.R.,Centenary Institute | Calabro S.R.,University of Sydney | Maczurek A.E.,Centenary Institute | Maczurek A.E.,University of Sydney | And 23 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: The classical paradigm of liver injury asserts that hepatic stellate cells (HSC) produce, remodel and turnover the abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) of fibrosis via matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In extrahepatic tissues MMP production is regulated by a number of mechanisms including expression of the glycoprotein CD147. Previously, we have shown that CD147 is expressed on hepatocytes but not within the fibrotic septa in cirrhosis [1]. Therefore, we investigated if hepatocytes produce MMPs, regulated by CD147, which are capable of remodelling fibrotic ECM independent of the HSC. Methods: Non-diseased, fibrotic and cirrhotic livers were examined for MMP activity and markers of fibrosis in humans and mice. CD147 expression and MMP activity were co-localised by in-situ zymography. The role of CD147 was studied in-vitro with siRNA to CD147 in hepatocytes and in-vivo in mice with CCl4 induced liver injury using ãCD147 antibody intervention. Results: In liver fibrosis in both human and mouse tissue MMP expression and activity (MMP-2, -9, -13 and -14) increased with progressive injury and localised to hepatocytes. Additionally, as expected, MMPs were abundantly expressed by activated HSC. Further, with progressive fibrosis there was expression of CD147, which localised to hepatocytes but not to HSC. Functionally significant in-vitro regulation of hepatocyte MMP production by CD147 was demonstrated using siRNA to CD147 that decreased hepatocyte MMP-2 and -9 expression/activity. Further, in-vivo α-CD147 antibody intervention decreased liver MMP-2, -9, -13, -14, TGF-β and α-SMA expression in CCl4 treated mice compared to controls. Conclusion: We have shown that hepatocytes produce active MMPs and that the glycoprotein CD147 regulates hepatocyte MMP expression. Targeting CD147 regulates hepatocyte MMP production both in-vitro and in-vivo, with the net result being reduced fibrotic matrix turnover in-vivo. Therefore, CD147 regulation of hepatocyte MMP is a novel pathway that could be targeted by future anti-fibrogenic agents. © 2014 Calabro et al.

Cheng R.,Aw Morrow Gastroenterology And Liver Center | Cooper A.,Royal Prince Alfred Hospital | Kench J.,Royal Prince Alfred Hospital | Watson G.,Royal Prince Alfred Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia) | Year: 2015

Ipilimumab has been shown to improve overall survival in patients with advanced melanoma. Ipilimumab acts through immune-modulation, and is recognized to cause potentially severe immune-related adverse events (irAEs) including dermatitis, colitis, thyroiditis, hypophysitis, and hepatitis. The acceptance of ipilimumab as a treatment for metastatic melanoma means patients will continue to be treated with this agent and gastroenterologists will be increasingly called upon to assist in managing severe autoimmune-related hepatitis and colitis. To date, the recommendations for managing irAEs secondary to ipilimumab have been steroids at a moderate dose of prednisolone (1mg/kg) as well as immunosuppressive agents such as mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) for steroid-refractory hepatitis and infliximab in the management of corticosteroid-refractory colitis. However, the dosing and the duration of immunosuppressive therapy have not been systematically studied in the setting of treating ipilimumab-induced irAEs. Therefore, additional immune-modifying agents and/or a change in dosing may be required to manage severe irAEs unresponsive to existing treatment recommendations. We describe a treatment paradigm illustrated by a series of five patients who experienced irAEs. In three cases of metastatic melanoma, ipilimumab-induced hepatitis was successfully treated with high-dose parenteral pulsed methylprednisolone. In two other melanoma patients with ipilimumab-induced colitis, one patient had satisfactory resolution of his colitis with high-dose corticosteroid therapy alone and the other patient required infliximab infusion. We have reviewed the current literature and management algorithms for ipilimumab-induced irAEs. Treatment options and the rationale for their use are discussed, including the use of pulsed high-dose steroids, MMF, azathioprine and calcineurin inhibitors. © 2015 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Tu T.,Centenary Institute | Tu T.,University of Sydney | Budzinska M.A.,Centenary Institute | Budzinska M.A.,University of Sydney | And 15 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2014

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prevalent primary liver cancer that is derived from hepatocytes and is characterised by high mortality rate and poor prognosis. While HCC is driven by cumulative changes in the hepatocyte genome, it is increasingly recognised that the liver microenvironment plays a pivotal role in HCC propensity, progression and treatment response. The microenvironmental stimuli that have been recognised as being involved in HCC pathogenesis are diverse and include intrahepatic cell subpopulations, such as immune and stellate cells, pathogens, such as hepatitis viruses, and non-cellular factors, such as abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) and tissue hypoxia. Recently, a number of novel environmental influences have been shown to have an equally dramatic, but previously unrecognized, role in HCC progression. Novel aspects, including diet, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microflora and circulating microvesicles, are now being recognized as increasingly important in HCC pathogenesis. This review will outline aspects of the HCC microenvironment, including the potential role of GIT microflora and microvesicles, in providing new insights into tumourigenesis and identifying potential novel targets in the treatment of HCC. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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