Abstract

Around 257 million people are living with hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronic infection and 71 million with hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection. Both HBV and HCV infections can lead to liver complications such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To take care of these chronically infected patients, one strategy is to diagnose the early stage of fibrosis in order to treat them as soon as possible to decrease the risk of HCC development. microRNAs (or miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs which regulate many cellular processes in metazoans. Their expressions were frequently modulated by up- or down-regulation during fibrosis progression. In the serum of patients with HBV chronic infection (CHB), miR-122 and miR-185 expressions are increased, while miR-29, -143, -21 and miR-223 expressions are decreased during fibrosis progression. In the serum of patients with HCV chronic infection (CHC), miR-143 and miR-223 expressions are increased, while miR-122 expression is decreased during fibrosis progression. This review aims to summarize current knowledge of principal miRNAs modulation involved in fibrosis progression during chronic hepatitis B/C infections. Furthermore, we also discuss the potential use of miRNAs as non-invasive biomarkers to diagnose fibrosis with the intention of prioritizing patients with advanced fibrosis for treatment and surveillance.

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