Tensegrity Model Hypothesis: May This Paradigm Be Useful to Explain Hepatic and Pancreatic Carcinogenesis in Patients with Persistent Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C Virus Infection?

  • Sirio Fiorino Unit of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Budrio. Budrio, BO, Italy
  • Letizia Bacchi-Reggiani Institute of Cardiology, “S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital”, "Alma Mater Studiorum” - University of Bologna. Bologna, Italy
  • Laura Pontoriero Unit of Mother-Child Care, Lametino District, ASP. Catanzaro, Italy
  • Claudio Gallo Physician Specialist of Infectious Diseases
  • Elisabetta Chili Unit of Anestesiology, Modena Hospital, University of Modena. Modena, Italy
  • Michele Masetti Unit of General Surgery A, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Nicola Zanini Unit of General Surgery A, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Ana Grondona Central Laboratory, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Tania Silvestri Central Laboratory, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Gaia Deleonardi Central Laboratory, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Adele Fornelli Department of Pathology, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Arrigo Bondi Department of Pathology, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Dario de Biase Department of Pathology, Bellaria Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Paola Baccarini Department of Pathology, Bellaria Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Giovanni Tallini Department of Pathology, Bellaria Hospital. Bologna, Italy
  • Antonio Tropeano Physician Specialist of Dentistry
  • Valeria Quartuccio Calabria University. Cosenza, Italy
  • Andrea Cuppini Unit of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Budrio. Budrio, BO, Italy
  • Gastone Castellani Institute of Fisics, “Alma Mater Studiorum” - University of Bologna. Bologna, Italy
  • Elio Jovine Unit of General Surgery A, “Maggiore” Hospital. Bologna, Italy
Keywords: Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis B virus, Mechanotransduction, Cellular, Pancreatic Carcinoma


Context Hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) possess well-known oncogenic properties and may promote carcinogenesis in liver. However antigens and replicative sequences of HBV/HCV have been also detected in different extra-hepatic tissues, including the pancreas. Although epidemiological studies and meta-analyses have recently suggested that HBV/HCV may be also risk factors for pancreatic cancer and several researches have investigated the possible mechanisms and intra-/extra-cellular paths involved in pancreatic and hepatic carcinogenesis, to date, these complex processes remain largely unexplained. Objectives In our paper, we aimed to propose a comprehensive and qualitative hypothetical model, describing how HBV/HCV may exert their oncogenic role. Methods We performed a systematic research of scientific literature, by searching MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library and EMBASE databases. The used keywords were: “chronic HBV/HCV”, “pancreatic cancer”, “liver carcinoma”, “carcinogenesis mechanisms”, “tensional integrity”, “cytoskeleton”, and “extracellular matrix”. Results Taking advantage from available studies, we suggest an unifying hypothesis based on results and data, obtained from different areas of research. In particular we considered the well-defined model of tensional integrity and correlated it to changes induced by HBV/HCV in viscoelastic properties/stiffness of cellular/extracellular microenvironments. These events perturb the tightly-regulated feedback loop, which usually couples the intracellular-generated forces to substrate rigidity of extracellular compartments. Therefore, such a change strongly affects intracellular functions and cellular fate, by promoting a substantial deregulation of critical intracellular biochemical activities and genome expression. Conclusions Our hypothesis might provide for the first time a reliable system, which correlates tensional integrity model with intra-/extra-cellular modifications, occurring in liver and pancreas during HBV/HCV-induced carcinogenesis. This approach might improve our understanding of pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the development of pancreatic and hepatic carcinogenesis , enhancing the possibility of their treatment. Furthermore, should the usefulness of this model be definitively confirmed, it might be also helpful to extend its field of application to other viruses-related cancers.

Image: Signaling pathways (Figure 1)


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Signaling pathways
How to Cite
FiorinoS., Bacchi-ReggianiL., PontorieroL., GalloC., ChiliE., MasettiM., ZaniniN., GrondonaA., SilvestriT., DeleonardiG., FornelliA., BondiA., de BiaseD., BaccariniP., TalliniG., TropeanoA., QuartuccioV., CuppiniA., CastellaniG., & JovineE. (2014). Tensegrity Model Hypothesis: May This Paradigm Be Useful to Explain Hepatic and Pancreatic Carcinogenesis in Patients with Persistent Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C Virus Infection?. JOP. Journal of the Pancreas, 15(2), 151-164. https://doi.org/10.6092/1590-8577/2099

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