Animal models in the study of hepatitis C virus-associated liver pathologies

Hervé Lerat, Martin Higgs, Jean-Michel Pawlotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


It is estimated that more than 170 million individuals worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), with approximately 20% of the cases developing cirrhosis. Each year, between 1 and 4% of patients exhibiting cirrhosis develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Chronic HCV infection is also linked with the development of several metabolic disorders, including hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance. Research into HCV-related pathologies is hampered by a relative paucity of small animal models. As a result, little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved, and much of our current knowledge is drawn by inference from in vitro studies using overexpressed proteins. In this article, we will review the currently available animal models for the study of HCV pathogenesis, with an emphasis on murine models. Then, we will provide an overview of how these models have contributed to the deciphering of the molecular mechanisms underlying dysregulated lipid metabolism and hepatocellular carcinoma during HCV infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-52
Number of pages12
JournalExpert review of gastroenterology & hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Liver
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Liver
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Neoplasms
  • Metabolic Syndrome X
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Species Specificity


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