1887

Abstract

Infection by hepatitis B virus (HBV) and dietary exposure to aflatoxin B (AFB) are the main risk factors for the development of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). How these factors cooperate is still largely unknown. AFB activation leads to DNA adduction and mutagenesis, with a specific mutation at codon 249 in (p.R249S). So far, only limited studies have addressed the effects of AFB on HBV replication. We have analysed the effects of both risk factors on p53 induction during HBV infection in HepaRG, a cell line with hepatocyte-like morphology that metabolizes AFB and supports HBV infection. Exposure to AFB up to 5 µM induced a downregulation of HBV replication after 48 h, as measured by a decrease in viral antigens in the culture medium (HBsAg, HBeAg and large envelope protein) and in intracellular levels of HBV transcripts, DNA and HBsAg. Conversely, HBV infection did not significantly modify AFB-DNA adduct formation or repair as assessed by immunodot-blot assay, and the induction of p53 in response to AFB was similar in infected and non-infected HepaRG cells. Overall, our results suggest that AFB exposure decreases HBV replication, whereas DNA damage by AFB and subsequent p53 induction is not affected by the presence of the virus. Thus, in HepaRG cell line, AFB and HBV do not cooperate to increase DNA damage by AFB. Further studies on the effects of both factors in a context of chronicity are needed to better understand synergistic effects.

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2012-03-01
2019-09-15
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