1887

Abstract

The antiviral T cell failure of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection was suggested to be caused by a T cell stimulation defect of dendritic cells (DC). To address this hypothesis, monocyte derived DC (MDDC) of patients with chronic or resolved acute HBV infection and healthy controls were studied phenotypically by FACS analyses and functionally by mixed lymphocyte reaction, ELISA, ELISpot and proliferation assays of MDDC cultures or co-cultures with an allogeneic HBc-specific Th cell clone. HBV infection of MDDC was studied by quantitative PCR. MDDC from HBV patients seemed to be infected by the HBV, showed a reduced surface expression of HLA DR and CD40 and exhibited a reduced secretion of IL12p70 in response to HBcAg but not to LPS, as compared to control MDDC. However, after cytokine induced maturation, MDDC from HBV patients revealed an unimpaired phenotype. Moreover, the T cell stimulatory capacity of HBV-DC was intact, since (i) the induction of allospecific proliferative and IFN- responses was not affected in HBV-MDDC, and (ii) HLA DR7 restricted stimulation of an allogeneic HBc-specific Th cell clone was not impaired by HBV-MDDC compared to control MDDC. It is hypothesized that HBV infection of DC might lead to minor phenotypic and functional alterations without significantly affecting their antiviral Th cell stimulatory capacity.

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2004-10-01
2019-10-23
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