Cytotoxic T-cell responses to the nucleocapsid proteins of HBV in chronic hepatitis. Evidence that antibody modulation may cause protracted infection

Massimo Pignatelli, Jenny Waters, Andrew Lever, Sten Iwarson, Robert Gerety, Howard C. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nucleocapsid antigens (HBc and HBe) are present on the membranes of HBV-infected hepatocytes from HBV carriers. In autologous cytotoxicity experiments we demonstrate that cytotoxic T cells sensitised to the nucleocapsid proteins of hepatitis B are present in HBe antigen-positive HBV carriers with chronic hepatitis and can be blocked by monoclonal anti-HBc and anti-HBe. Passive immunisation of chimpanzees with monoclonal anti-HBc and anti-HBe offers no protection against HBV infection but in both cases leads to an unusually prolonged hepatitis probably by modulation of HBc and HBe antigen display on the hepatocytes. High-titre anti-HBc in the circulation of HBe antigen-positive patients probably modulates the former protein making HBe the important target antigen for cytotoxic T cells mediating liver damage in chronic carriers. These data also support the hypothesis that passive transfer of IgG anti-HBc across the placenta may be one major factor promoting development of persistent infection in neonates infected from carrier mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cytotoxic T-cell responses to the nucleocapsid proteins of HBV in chronic hepatitis. Evidence that antibody modulation may cause protracted infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this