Li Wei1, Anne Wilson2, Xiaoping P. Hu1, Ebrahim Haroon2
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States; 2School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States
Chronic administration of interferon (IFN)-alpha (a pro-inflammatory cytokine) for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with depression and fatigue in 40-50% of patients. These behavioral outcomes have been correlated with alterations in glucose metabolism in basal ganglia (BG). In this study, we investigated metabolites changes in BG before and after IFN-alpha treatment in HCV infection patients. The result shows that Glx/Cre increased and mI/Cre decreased after 4 weeks of IFN-alpha treatment, likely indicating that interferon-alpha reduces the astrocyte function in BG and induces depression in HCV infection patients.