Quantitative and functional differences in CD8+ lymphocyte responses in resolved acute and chronic hepatitis C virus infection

Lancaster, T., Sanders, E., Christie, J.M.L., Brooks, C., Green, S. and Rosenberg, W.M.C. (2002) Quantitative and functional differences in CD8+ lymphocyte responses in resolved acute and chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 9, (1), 18-28. (doi:10.1046/j.1365-2893.2002.00330.x).


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CD8+ T lymphocyte responses are important in the clearance of viral infections. In chronic infections they may contribute to pathogenesis. To investigate the role of CD8+ T lymphocyte responses in viral clearance and chronic hepatitis C we have compared hepatitis C virus (HCV) specific cytotoxicity and interferon-gamma (IFN-?) production in patients with resolved-acute, and chronic HCV infection. CD8+ T cell responses to a panel of 13 HCV T cell peptide epitopes were studied using Elispot assays of IFN-? production and chromium release cytotoxicity assays. Responses of seven patients with resolved acute HCV infection were compared with those of 14 chronically infected patients. HCV-specific cytotoxicity differentiated the two populations of patients.

The majority (71%) of patients with resolved acute infection tested positive to 42% of relevant peptides compared with the minority (28%) of patients with chronic hepatitis C (P=0.03) who responded to only 8% of relevant peptides (P=0.0009). In contrast, HCV-specific IFN-? production was detected in 86% of patients with either resolved or chronic infection in response to 42% and 35%, respectively, of relevant peptides tested (not significant). In patients with chronic infection the magnitude of the HCV-specific IFN-? production was inversely correlated to viral load (R2=0.52; P=0.042). Failure to clear HCV infection may be attributable to the presence of noncytolytic IFN-? producing CD8+ T lymphocytes in chronically infected patients. However these CD8+ T cells may play a beneficial role in contributing to the control of viral load in chronic hepatitis C.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1046/j.1365-2893.2002.00330.x
ISSNs: 1352-0504 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: cytotoxic t, cellshcv, interferon-?
Subjects: R Medicine > RB Pathology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Infection, Inflammation and Repair
ePrint ID: 27218
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:50
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/27218

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