Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 229–241 | Cite as

In vitro immune responses to hepatitis B surface antigen (pre-S2 and S) following remote infection by hepatitis B virus in humans

  • Thomas R. Cupps
  • Jay H. Hoofnagle
  • Ronald W. Ellis
  • William J. Miller
  • Leonard Seeff
  • Ann Guerrera
  • John L. Gerin
  • Sally A. Haas-Smith
Original Articles

Abstract

In this report we evaluate the human immune response to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) following remote infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBsAg-reactive lymphocytes can be readily demonstrated in the peripheral blood of individuals with established immunity following infection with HBV.In vitro stimulation with small doses of plasma-derived HBsAg, yeast-derived HBsAg (S region) or pre-S2 peptide will induce specific IgG to HBsAg (anti-HBs) in the absence of a polyclonal increase in total IgG. The pre-S2 peptide will stimulate, in a T cell-dependent fashion, thein vitro production of anti-HBs with specificity for the S domain. This anti-HBs production is mediated by pre-S2-stimulated soluble T-cell factors. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from individuals with established immunity proliferate to the yeast-derived HBsAg but not to the plasma-derived HBsAg or pre-S2 peptide. The chronic HBsAg carriers do not produce anti-HBs following stimulation with HBsAg regardless of the source or component of antigen used. Different study protocols failed to demonstrate HBsAg-specific responses in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of chronic carriers.

Key words

Hepatitis B virus anti-HBs hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) chronic carrier pre-S2 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas R. Cupps
    • 1
  • Jay H. Hoofnagle
    • 2
  • Ronald W. Ellis
    • 3
  • William J. Miller
    • 3
  • Leonard Seeff
    • 4
  • Ann Guerrera
    • 1
  • John L. Gerin
    • 5
  • Sally A. Haas-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, Department of MedicineGeorgetown University Medical CenterWashington, DC
  2. 2.Liver Disease Section, Digestive Diseases BranchNational Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of HealthBethesda
  3. 3.Department of Virus and Cell BiologyMerck Sharp & Dohme Research LaboratoriesWest Point
  4. 4.Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Department of MedicineVeterans Administration Medical CenterWashington, DC
  5. 5.Division of Molecular Virology & ImmunologyGeorgetown University Medical CenterRockville

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