25-Hydroxy vitamin D suppresses hepatitis C virus replication and contributes to rapid virological response of treatment efficacy

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25-Hydroxy vitamin D (Vit D) plays a role in treatment outcomes in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We aimed to clarify whether HCV replication is inhibited by Vit D in HCV replicon cells. Clinical implication was assessed for rapid virological response (RVR) and sustained virological response (SVR) among those patients receiving antiviral therapy.


Cell survival and viral loads were observed in Con1 (genotype 1b) and J6/JFH (genotype 2a) cells treated with different doses of Vit D. Three groups of patients with different treatment responses were recruited to assess their Vit D levels: group A, RVR−/SVR−; group B, RVR+/SVR−; and group C, RVR+/SVR+.


The viral load of Con1 cells decreased by 69%, 80%, and 86% following treatment with 1 μM, 5 μM, and 10 μM Vit D, respectively (P < 0.0001). In J6/JFH cells, it decreased by 12%, 55%, and 80.5% following treatment with 1 μM, 5 μM, and 10 μM Vit D, respectively (P < 0.0001). There was a significant increase of Vit D between chronic hepatitis C groups, ranging from 4.4 ± 5.6 ng/mL in group A (n = 44), to 17.2 ± 11.6 ng/mL in group B (n = 44), and 32.5 ± 37.5 ng/mL of group C (n = 44) (P < 0.001). Advanced fibrosis (odds ratio = 0.13, 95% confidence interval = 0.04–0.41, P < 0.001) and Vit D deficiency (<10 ng/mL) (odds ratio = 0.11, 95% confidence interval = 0.03–0.43, P = 0.001) were predictive of SVR in the multivariate regression analysis.


Vitamin D decreases HCV replication and also contributes to early treatment viral kinetics.

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