Background: Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) has been reported to associate with metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Since chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with metabolic derangements, the relationship between LBP and HCV deserves additional studies. This study aimed to determine the serum LBP level in subjects with or without HCV infection and investigate the change of its level after anti-viral treatments with or without interferon. Methods and Findings: We recruited 120 non-HCV subjects, 42 and 17 HCV-infected subjects respectively treated with peginterferon α-2a/ribavirin and direct-acting antiviral drugs. Basic information, clinical data, serum LBP level and abdominal ultrasonography were collected. All the subjects provided written informed consent before being enrolled approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the National Taiwan University Hospital. Serum LBP level was significantly higher in HCV-infected subjects than non-HCV subjects (31.0 ± 8.8 versus 20.0 ± 6.4 μg/mL; p-value < 0.001). After multivariate analyses, LBP at baseline was independently associated with body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and HCV infection. Moreover, the baseline LBP was only significantly positively associated with ALT and inversely with fatty liver in HCV-infected subjects. The LBP level significantly decreased at sustained virologic response (27.4 ± 6.6 versus 34.6 ± 7.3 μg/mL, p-value < 0.001; 15.9 ± 4.4 versus 22.2 ± 5.7 μg/mL, p-value = 0.001), regardless of interferon-based or-free therapy. Conclusions: LBP, an endotoxemia associated protein might be used as an inflammatory biomarker of both infectious and non-infectious origins in HCV-infected subjects.
Nien, H. C., Hsu, S. J., Su, T. H., Yang, P. J., Sheu, J. C., Wang, J. T., … Yang, W. S. (2017). High serum lipopolysaccharide-binding protein level in chronic hepatitis C viral infection is reduced by anti-viral treatments. PLoS ONE, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0170028