CCR5 plays important roles in hepatitis B infection
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In humans, hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most prevalent and the main infectious agent that leads to liver disease. Previous investigations identified that long-term HBV-infected patients are unable to eradicate HBV completely from hepatocytes. The main mechanisms responsible for long-term forms of the infections are yet to be clarified. However, researchers believe that the differences in genetic and immunological parameters in the patients in comparison to subjects who successfully clear HBV infections may be the causes for long-term infection. Previous studies demonstrated that chemokines play important roles in the regulation of immune cell migration and activation, which is crucial for a comprehensive immune response against HBV. RANTES, MIP-1a, and MIP- 1b are important CC chemokines which act through CC chemokines receptor 5 (CCR5). This receptor is expressed on several effector immune cells including NK cells, T lymphocytes, and macrophages, and plays a crucial role in the regulation of activation and migration of the immune cells during immune responses against viruses, including HBV. Therefore, alterations in its expression or functions could be associated with attenuated immune responses against HBV. In addition, previous studies identified that a 32 base pair deletion (D32) in exon 1, as well as three polymorphisms in the promoter region of the CCR5 gene results in downregulation of the molecule. Previous studies revealed that CCR5 expression was altered in hepatitis B but the role of the CCR5 D32 mutation and CCR5 promoter polymorphisms in this disease is controversial. This review addresses the recent information regarding the status of CCR5 expression on immune cells and the association of CCR5 promoter polymorphisms with HBV-infected patients.