William S Mason, PhD
Office Phone: 215-728-2462
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically infects hepatocytes, the major parenchymal cell of the liver. If the immune system fails to clear the infection within a few months individuals can remain infected for life. Persistent infections lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The long term goals of our research are to understand how infections are cleared by the immune system, to devise protocols that will induce virus clearance in chronic carriers and to identify the sequence of changes in the liver that lead to hepatocellular carcinoma when infections fail to clear. Experiments towards these goals are being carried out in woodchucks chronically infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV), which is closely related to HBV, and through analysis of liver biopsies acquired from chimpanzees naturally infected with HBV and from humans during surgical resection of HCC.Description of research projects
- Mason WS, Low HC, Xu C, Aldrich CE, Scougall CA, Grosse A, Clouston A, Chavez D, Litwin S, Peri S, Jilbert AR, Lanford RE. Detection of clonally expanded hepatocytes in chimpanzees with chronic HBV infection. J Virol. in press.
- Mason WS, Low HC, Xu C, Aldrich CE, Scougall CA, Grosse A, Clouston A, Chavez D, Litwin S, Peri S, Jilbert AR, Lanford RE. Detection of clonally expanded hepatocytes in chimpanzees with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. J Virol. 2009 Sep;83(17):8396-408.
- Mason WS, Xu C, Low H-C, Saputelli R, Aldrich CE, Scougall C, Grosse A, Colonno R, Litwin S, Jilbert AR. The amount of hepatocyte turnover that occurs during resolution of a transient hepadnavirus infection is reduced if virus replication is inhibited with entecavir. J Virol. 2009;83:1778-89. PubMed
- Mason WS, Litwin S, Jilbert AR. Immune selection during chronic hepadnavirus infection. Hepatol Int. 2008;2:3-16.
- Xu C, Yamamoto T, Zhou T, Aldrich CE, Frank K, Cullen JM, Jilbert AR, Mason WS. The liver of woodchucks chronically infected with the woodchuck hepatitis virus contains foci of virus core antigen-negative hepatocytes with both altered and normal morphology. Virology. 2007;359:283-94. PubMed
- Seeger C, Zoulim F, Mason WS. Hepadnaviruses. In Fields Virology. Lipincott, Williams & Wilkins, NY. pp. 2977-3030, 2006.
- Mason WS, Jilbert AR, Summers J. Clonal expansion of hepatocytes during chronic woodchuck hepatitis virus infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005;102:1139-1144. PubMed
- Guo H, Mason WS, Aldrich CE, Saputelli JR, Miller DS, Jilbert AR, Newbold JE. Identification and characterization of avihepadnaviruses isolated from exotic anseriformes maintained in captivity. J Virol. 2005;79:2729-42. PubMed