Both interferon alpha and lambda can reduce all intrahepatic HDV infection markers in HBV/HDV infected humanized mice
Authors: Giersch, Katja; Homs, Maria; Volz, Tassilo; Helbig, Martina; Allweiss, Lena; Lohse, Ansgar W.; Petersen, Joerg; Buti, Maria; Pollicino, Teresa; Sureau, Camille; Dandri, Maura; Luetgehetmann, Marc
Co-infection with hepatitis B (HBV) and D virus (HDV) is associated with the most severe course of liver disease. Interferon represents the only treatment currently approved. However, knowledge about the impact of interferons on HDV in human hepatocytes is scant. Aim was to assess the effect of pegylated interferon alpha (peg-IFN alpha) and lambda (peg-IFN lambda), compared to the HBV-polymerase inhibitor entecavir (ETV) on all HDV infection markers using human liver chimeric mice and novel HDV strand-specific qRT-PCR and RNA in situ hybridization assays, which enable intrahepatic detection of HDV RNA species. Peg-IFN alpha and peg-IFN lambda reduced HDV viremia (1.4 log and 1.2 log, respectively) and serum HBsAg levels (0.9-log and 0.4-log, respectively). Intrahepatic quantification of genomic and antigenomic HDV RNAs revealed a median ratio of 22: 1 in untreated mice, resembling levels determined in HBV/HDV infected patients. Both IFNs greatly reduced intrahepatic levels of genomic and antigenomic HDV RNA, increasing the amounts of HDAg-and antigenomic RNA-negative hepatocytes. ETV-mediated suppression of HBV replication (2.1-log) did not significantly affect HBsAg levels, HDV productivity and/or release. In humanized mice lacking adaptive immunity, IFNs but not ETV suppressed HDV. Viremia decrease reflected the intrahepatic reduction of all HDV markers, including the antigenomic template, suggesting that intracellular HDV clearance is achievable.
Reduced hepatitis B and D viral entry using clinically applied drugs as novel inhibitors of the bile acid transporter NTCP
Authors: Donkers, Joanne M.; Zehnder, Benno; van Westen, Gerard J. P.; Kwakkenbos, Mark J.; IJzerman, Adriaan P.; Elferink, Ronald P. J. Oude; Beuers, Ulrich; Urban, Stephan; van de Graaf, Stan F. J.
The sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP, SLC10A1) is the main hepatic transporter of conjugated bile acids, and the entry receptor for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis delta virus (HDV). Myrcludex B, a synthetic peptide mimicking the NTCP-binding domain of HBV, effectively blocks HBV and HDV infection. In addition, Myrcludex B inhibits NTCP-mediated bile acid uptake, suggesting that also other NTCP inhibitors could potentially be a novel treatment of HBV/HDV infection. This study aims to identify clinically-applied compounds intervening with NTCP-mediated bile acid transport and HBV/HDV infection. 1280 FDA/EMA-approved drugs were screened to identify compounds that reduce uptake of taurocholic acid and lower Myrcludex B-binding in U2OS cells stably expressing human NTCP. HBV/HDV viral entry inhibition was studied in HepaRG cells. The four most potent inhibitors of human NTCP were rosiglitazone (IC50 5.1 mu M), zafirlukast (IC50 6.5 mu M), TRIAC (IC50 6.9 mu M), and sulfasalazine (IC50 9.6 mu M). Chicago sky blue 6B (IC50 7.1 mu M) inhibited both NTCP and ASBT, a distinct though related bile acid transporter. Rosiglitazone, zafirlukast, TRIAC, sulfasalazine, and chicago sky blue 6B reduced HBV/HDV infection in HepaRG cells in a dose-dependent manner. Five out of 1280 clinically approved drugs were identified that inhibit NTCP-mediated bile acid uptake and HBV/HDV infection in vitro.