A mouse model incorporating the epitheliotropic nature of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections has been used to study an immune response to HPV type 16 (HPV-16) E6 protein . Using a transplantation technique, a novel immortal keratinocyte cell line expressing the E6 protein has been grafted onto syngeneic mice to re-form a differentiated epithelium overlying a granulation tissue bed. By this approach the presentation of viral antigens to the immune system can be modelled in a way analogous to the natural infection. Here we report a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction in grafted mice challenged intradermally with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the HPV-16 E6 protein. The specificity of the response was confirmed by the absence of a DTH reaction to challenge with virus expressing either HPV-16 E7 or L1 protein.


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