ABSTRACT: Hantaan virus (HTNV), the prototype member of the Hantavirus genus in the family Bunyaviridae, causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), which is characterized by capillary leakage, hemorrhage, and renal injury, and is an important public health problem in China. Some kinds of immune cells, particularly CD8(+) T cells, are involved in the pathogenesis of Hantavirus infection. The nucleocapsid protein (NP) of the Hantavirus is the most conserved structural protein and the most abundant viral protein produced during infection. It is one of the important target antigens that induce the CD8(+) T-cell response. In this study, we examined the CD8(+) T-cell response to HTNV NP C-terminal polypeptides. We synthesized 23 overlapping C-terminal polypeptides and detected the antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell response in 15 patients with HFRS. The results demonstrated that there were NP-specific T-cell responses in bulk cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 9 of 15 patients. The peptide 51 (aa 301-315: SPSSIWVFAGAPDRC), peptide 60 (aa 355-369: LRKKSSFYQSYLRRT), and peptide 70 (aa 415-429: DVKVKEISNQEPLKL) induced strong CD8(+) T-cell responses. Among them, peptide 70 induced CTL responses in donors 7, 9, and 11, and the strongest responses were seen in donor 11. Depletion of CD8(+) T cells from PBMCs completely abrogated the peptide-specific T-cell response, while depletion of CD4(+) T cells did not diminish the number of IFN-gamma spot-forming cells. These data suggest that infection with HTNV results in CTL responses to immunodominant regions on the NP.
Viral immunology 08/2009; 22(4):253-60. · 1.78 Impact Factor