Do hepb infected livercells produce other infected livercells?


Question, livercells get replaced every 300 - 500 days, does a hepb infected livercell produce another hepb infected livercell ?
How are livercells replaced by the way ? healthy livercells produce other healthy livercells ?


Liver cells are replaced by cell mitosis: 1 liver cell (hepatocyte) divides and makes 2 liver cells. Healthy liver cells can produce another healthy liver cell.

This is an excellent question and one that the scientists have been looking at for a long time. Some of my research is on exactly this. There is still some controversy in the field about this, but our recent data seems to show that when a hep B infected liver cell divides, it makes 2 healthy cells.

This would suggest that you can just take antivirals for say 500 days to stop virus production and it should clear the infection, right? Not so easy. The antivirals are not 100% suppressive, so there’s still a little bit of replication still going on and this can maintain the infection. The other thing is that not every cell has the same probability of dividing. We think there may be some cells that just don’t divide and are the key to stopping the infection from being cleared.



@ThomasTu , ok I need to google how do the antivirals work.

John Tavis has given a brief introduction about how they work here: Tenofovir medication - #4 by john.tavis



Thomas is being a bit modest here. His data are excellent, and they are supported by data from another lab. The consensus is building in the field that much of the HBV cccDNA in a cell is lost when those cells divide. That is good news for drug development because it adds another way to get rid of the cccDNA–by promoting cells to divide during therapy.



Dear @john.tavis,
Happy new year and I wish you the best,
I just want to ask you a question about your mention in this post.
If it can be proved that cccDNA lost during cell deviding, can we develop a way to make all cells devide(make sure every cells devide, as I have read something about it, there is a possiblity shows not every cells want to devide, maybe 1 of 5000.)
I know cccDNA is one of the nail in finding cure.

Hi @IWillBeCured,

This is exactly the question a PhD student working with me (@henrikzhang) is looking at. He described his research in the research showcase here: Hepatitis B cccDNA viral reservoirs: stubborn nails in the quest for a complete cure



Hi IWillBeCured,

I would really go to Thomas Tu and Lena Alweiss for an answer to this question. They are both younger members of the HBV research community doing superb cutting edge research on exactly this topic.

Note that causing the all the liver cells in the body to turn over quickly would likely be fatal due to release of toxins from the dying cells. However, the general feeling in the field is that inducing liver cell turnover is going to be one of the ways to help get rid of cccDNA. That concept underlies many of the immune-mediated cure strategies under development. Now we just have to learn to do it safely!



Dear @john.tavis , @ThomasTu ,
Thank you for answering our questions and help us to understand more. Happy to have such person who are dedicated to help people.

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