Source National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
CONTEXT: HCV infection is strongly associated with development of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, however molecular mechanism of these associations is not known. The aim of this review was to conduct a comprehensive literature search to understand the nature of the association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and insulin resistance (IR). We also explored the role of HCV core protein and NS5a in modulating the course of the insulin-signaling pathway. EVIDENCE ACQUISITIONS: We searched Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Google Scholar, Pubmed (NLM), LISTA (EBSCO), Web of Science (TS and PakMediNet).
RESULTS: Emerging evidence suggests an association between HCV infection and carotid/coronary vascular disease. IR appears to be a dominant underlying cause of accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). HCV can induce IR directly through the stimulation of SOCS3 and PPA2, and both of these molecules have been shown to inhibit interferon-α signaling. Improvement of insulin sensitivity may increase the response rate to antiviral treatment and prevent IR complications, including vascular diseases. The results of several clinical trials that have used insulin sensitizers (metformin and PPAR-γ agonists) have been inconclusive.
CONCLUSIONS: Beside the association between HCV and IR, the published data also have showed the possible association of HCV core and NS5A protein with IR.