Article

Expression of Hepatitis C Virus Core Protein in Hepatocytes Does Not Modulate Proliferation or Apoptosis of CD8+ T Cells

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 442-749, Korea.
Yonsei Medical Journal (Impact Factor: 1.26). 01/2006; 46(6):827-34. DOI: 10.3349/ymj.2005.46.6.827
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatocytes are the primary targets of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). While immunosuppressive roles of HCV core protein have been found in several studies, it remains uncertain whether core protein expressed in hepatocytes rather than in immune cells affects the CD8+ T cell response. In order to transduce genes selectively into hepatocytes, we developed a baculoviral vector system that enabled primary hepatocytes to express a target epitope for CD8+ T cells, derived from ovalbumin (OVA), with or without HCV core protein. Culture of OVA-specific CD8+ T cells with hepatocytes infected with these baculoviral vectors revealed that core protein has no effect on proliferation or apoptosis of CD8+ T cells. Our results suggest that HCV core protein does not exert its suppressive role on the CD8+ T cell immune response through expression in hepatocytes.

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