IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/e458

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review

Diagnostic and therapeutical role of vitamin D in chronic hepatitis C virus infection

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1 University of Catania, Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties, Division of Infectious Diseases, Via Palermo 636, Catania, Italy
2 Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, DiBiMIS, Piazza delle Cliniche
3 University of Palermo, Italy
4 Department of General Surgery, University Hospital of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 86, Catania, Italy
5 Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Viale Andrea Doria, 6 95125 Catania, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Fabio Galvano

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(4), 1276–1286;
Published: 1 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary approaches to prevent chronic-degenerative diseases)

Although initially identified as a calcium homeostatic hormone, vitamin D is now known to have pleiotropic functions, dealing with both innate and adaptative immunity. Calcitriol mediates its biological effects by binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is expressed not only by intestine, bone and kidney but also on cell membranes of T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, dendritic cells and macrophages. Vitamin D plays a role on the degree of liver damage in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC): low vitamin D levels have been associated with high hepatic necroinflammatory activity and progression of liver fibrosis. Vitamin D, in CHC patients, could also affect the response to antiviral therapy: in fact, recent studies have shown a relationship between low responsiveness to IFNbased therapy and low vitamin D serum levels. Further studies are required to better assess if vitamin D could work as a reliable noninvasive marker of liver fibrosis and whether vitamin D supplementation could be given to all CHC patients together with standard antiviral treatment, in order to improve the rate of sustained virological response (SVR).

Vitamin D
Chronic hepatitis C
Pegylated Interferon
Sustained Virological Response
Liver fibrosis
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