Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV) is an immune-complex-mediated systemic vasculitis involving small-medium sized vessels. A causative role of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in over 415 patients has been definitely established on the basis of epidemiological, pathological, and laboratory studies. There is great geographical heterogeneity in the prevalence of CV as well as other HCV-related immuno-lymphoproliferative disorders. Thus, unknown environmental and/or genetic co-factors should contribute to the pathogenesis of these conditions. Due to its biological properties, HCV genomic sequences cannot be integrated into the host genome; the virus could trigger the immunological alterations only indirectly by exerting a chronic stimulus to the immune system. Recent laboratory observations gave us new important insights on the complex pathogenetic mechanism(s) of HCV-related CV Firstly, the HCV envelop protein E2, able to bind CD81 molecule expressed on B-lymphocytes, might be involved in the first steps of HCV-driven autoimmune and lymphoproliferative phenomena. The interaction between HCV-E2 and CD81 may increase the frequency of VDJ rearrangement in antigen-reactive B-cell. One possible consequence may be the activation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protoncogene that leads to extended B-cell survival. Interestingly, t(14, 18) translocation along with Bcl-2 activation have been demonstrated in B-lymphocytes of 80% HCV-related CV The B-lymphocyte expansion is responsible for a wide autoantibody and immune-complex production, including mixed cryoglobulins. CV shows a relatively benign clinical course; however its cumulative survival is significantly worse if compared to general population. For a correct therapeutic approach to HCV-related CV we must deal with conflicting conditions: HCV infection, autoimmune, and lymphoproliferative alterations. Therapeutic strategy of CV includes etiologic, pathogenetic, and/or symptomatic therapies, which should be tailored for the single patient according to the severity of clinical symptoms. A careful clinical monitoring of patients with HCV-related CV is mandatory in all cases, with particular attention to neoplastic complications.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Titolo:||HCV-related cryoglobulinemic vasculitis: An update on its etiopathogenesis and therapeutic strategies|
|Autori:||Ferri C; Giuggioli D; Cazzato M; Sebastiani M; Mascia MT; Zignego AL|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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