Related Articles Enhanced antiviral and antifibrotic effects of short hairpin RNAs targeting HBV and TGF-β in HBV-persistent mice. Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 20;7(1):3860 Authors: Ye L, Kan F, Yan T, Cao J, Zhang L, Wu Z, Li W Abstract The hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes acute and chronic liver infection, which may lead to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current treatments including interferons and nucleotide analogs, have limited therapeutic effects, underscoring the need to identify effective therapeutic options to inhibit HBV replication and prevent complications. Previous animal models mimicking chronic HBV infection do not faithfully reflect disease progression in humans. Here, we used our established HBV-persistent mouse line with liver fibrosis to evaluate the efficacy of novel therapies. The combination of two short hairpin RNAs (dual-shRNA) against different coding regions of HBV delivered by a self-complementary AAV vector showed better antiviral effects than single shRNA both in vitro and in HBV-persistent mice. The dual-shRNA also exhibited stronger antifibrotic activity in vivo. Vector carrying shRNA against TGF-β, though did not inhibit HBV replication alone, enhanced the antiviral and antifibrotic activities of single and dual HBV shRNAs. Co-administration of TGF-β shRNA and HBV dual-shRNA decreased HBV DNA, HBV RNA, HBsAg, HBeAg, and liver fibrosis markers in serum and tissues, and improved liver morphology more effectively than single treatments. Our results suggest that the combination of shRNAs against HBV and TGF-β could be developed into a viable treatment for human HBV infection. PMID: 28634402 [PubMed – in process]

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Enhanced antiviral and antifibrotic effects of short hairpin RNAs targeting HBV and TGF-β in HBV-persistent mice.