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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glucocorticoid stimulates hepatitis B viral gene expression in cultured human hepatoma cells.

Glucocorticoids have been shown to influence the severity of hepatitis B virus-related chronic hepatitis in human. However, very little is known about the effects of glucocorticoids on hepatitis B virus replication in vitro. In this report, we used a well-differentiated human hepatoma cell line, Hep3B, transfected with hepatitis B virus complementary DNA as a model to show that a glucocorticoid analog, dexamethasone, can directly stimulate the production of HBsAg and HBeAg. Elevation of 3.5-kb pregenomic RNA and all other viral RNAs in the transfected Hep3B cells after dexamethasone treatment supports the hypothesis that glucocorticoids directly stimulate hepatitis B virus gene expression in vitro. The concentration of dexamethasone for its half-maximal stimulatory activity toward HBsAg, HBeAg and all viral transcripts was approximately 10(-8) mol/L, close to the affinity of glucocorticoid receptors to [3H]-triamcinolone acetonide in Hep3B cells (approximately 10(-8) mol/L). Specific glucocorticoid antagonist RU38486 completely blocked dexamethasone-induced HBV gene expression, suggesting that the stimulatory effect of dexamethasone was mediated through specific glucocorticoid receptors.[1]


  1. Glucocorticoid stimulates hepatitis B viral gene expression in cultured human hepatoma cells. Chou, C.K., Wang, L.H., Lin, H.M., Chi, C.W. Hepatology (1992) [Pubmed]
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