Presence of hepatitis b surface antigen (hbsag)-specific cytotoxic t cells in asymptomatic hbsag carriers

Pei Yun Shu, Meei Yun Lin, Chungming Chang, Lih Hwa Hwang, Jyh Hsiung Huang, Tong Hsuan Chang, Cheng Po Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To investigate whether there is any evidence of an immune stimulation against hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) in asymptomatic HBsAg carriers, proliferative and cytotoxic responses to HBsAg were measured in their peripheral blood lymphocytes. Although the majority of asymptomatic carriers had no proliferative response to HBsAg, 3 (25%) of 12 carriers showed significant T cell proliferation against HBsAg. In addition, using HBsAg-expressing autologous lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) as target cells, HBsAg-specific cytotoxic activity was found in 2 of 3 asymptomatic HBsAg carriers who had a proliferative response against HBsAg. Furthermore, 6 cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones were isolated from 1 asymptomatic carrier. The epitope recognized by 2 CTL clones was mapped to the major HBsAg residues158-172. These CTL clones were able to produce interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-β, or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. These findings demonstrate the presence of HBsAg-specific, major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted CTL in asymptomatic HBsAg carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-637
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994


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