, Volume 47, Issue 11, pp 1053-1062
Date: 16 Sep 2012

High Serum Palmitic Acid is Associated with Low Antiviral Effects of Interferon-Based Therapy for Hepatitis C Virus

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection alters fatty acid synthesis and metabolism in association with HCV replication. The present study examined the effect of serum fatty acid composition on interferon (IFN)-based therapy. Fifty-five patients with HCV were enrolled and received IFN-based therapy. Patient characteristics, laboratory data (including fatty acids), and viral factors that could be associated with the anti-HCV effects of IFN-based therapy were evaluated. The effects of individual fatty acids on viral replication and IFN-based therapy were also examined in an in-vitro system. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the level of serum palmitic acid before treatment and HCV genotype were significant predictors for rapid virological response (RVR), early virological response (EVR), and sustained virological response (SVR). High levels of palmitic acid inhibited the anti-HCV effects of IFN-based therapy. HCV replication assays confirmed the inhibitory effects of palmitic acid on anti-HCV therapy. The concentration of serum palmitic acid is an independent predictive factor for RVR, EVR, and SVR in IFN-based antiviral therapy. These results suggest that the effect of IFN-based antiviral therapy in patients with HCV infection might be enhanced by treatment that modulates palmitic acid levels.