Title

Identification of novel HLA-DR1-restricted epitopes from the hepatitis B virus envelope protein in mice expressing HLA-DR1 and vaccinated human subjects

ORCiD

David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Microbes and Infection

ISSN

1286-4579

Volume

8

Issue

12--13

DOI

10.1016/j.micinf.2006.08.009

First Page

2783

Last Page

2790

Publication Date

10-1-2006

Abstract

Helper T lymphocytes that control CD8+ T-cell and antibody responses are key elements for the resolution of infection by the hepatitis B virus and for the development of effective immunological memory after hepatitis B vaccination. We have used H-2 class II-deficient mice that express the human MHC class II molecule, HLA-DR1, to identify novel hepatitis B virus envelope-derived T helper epitopes. We confirmed the immunogenicity of a previously described HLA-DR1-restricted epitope, and identified three novel epitopes. CD4+ T-cell immune responses against these epitopes were detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HLA-DR1+ individuals vaccinated against hepatitis B. We showed that subjects receiving the currently available hepatitis B vaccines do not develop cross-reactive T helper responses against one of the novel epitopes which are structurally variable between different hepatitis B virus subtypes. These findings highlight the need for developing vaccines against a wider range of viral subtypes, and establish humanized mice as a convenient tool for identifying new immunogenic epitopes from pathogens.