Published online Mar 28, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i12.1319
Revised: February 1, 2012
Accepted: February 16, 2012
Published online: March 28, 2012
AIM: To investigate whether hepatitis B virus (HBV) could induce a hepatitis B virus core antigen (HBcAg)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response in vitro by dendritic cells (DCs) transduced with lentiviral vector-encoding ubiquitinated hepatitis B virus core antigen (LV-Ub-HBcAg).
METHODS: Recombinant LV-Ub-HBcAg were transfected into highly susceptible 293 T cells to obtain high virus titres. Bone marrow-derived DCs isolated from BALB/c mice were cultured with recombinant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and recombinant interleukin (IL)-4. LV-Ub-HBcAg, lentiviral vector-encoding hepatitis B virus core antigen (LV-HBcAg), lentiviral vector (LV) or lipopolysaccharide were added to induce DC maturation, and the DC phenotypes were analyzed by flow cytometry. The level of IL-12 in the supernatant was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). T lymphocytes were proliferated using Cell Counting Kit-8. DCs were cultured and induced to mature using different LVs, and co-cultured with allogeneic T cells to detect the secretion levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and interferon-γ in the supernatants of T cells by ELISA. Intracellular cytokines of proliferative T cells were analyzed by flow cytometry, and specific CTL activity was measured by a lactate dehydrogenase release assay.
RESULTS: LV-Ub-HBcAg-induced DCs secreted more IL-12 and upregulated the expression of CD80, CD86 and major histocompatibility class II. DCs sensitised by different LVs effectively promoted cytokine secretion; the levels of IL-2 and interferon-γ induced by LV-Ub-HBcAg were higher than those induced by LV-HBcAg. Compared with LV-HBcAg-transduced DCs, LV-Ub-HBcAg-transduced DCs more efficiently stimulated the proliferation of T lymphocytes and generated HBcAg-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
CONCLUSION: LV-Ub-HBcAg effectively induced DC maturation. The mature DCs efficiently induced T cell polarisation to Th1 and generated HBcAg-specific CTLs.