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Int J Mol Med. 2004 Aug;14(2):295-9.

Production and efficacy of a dendritic cell-based therapeutic vaccine for murine chronic hepatitis B virus carrierer.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Ehime University School of Medicine, Ehime, Japan.


Recently a new field of immunological research and clinical application of vaccines for therapeutic purposes (vaccine therapy) has been developed for treating several chronic viral infections including chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Administration of vaccine containing hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) for 1 year has resulted in negative HBsAg and development of antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs) in some, but not in all, HBV transgenic mouse (HBV-Tg). In order to develop more potent regimen of vaccine therapy for chronic HBV carrier, we prepared a dendritic cell (DC)-based therapeutic vaccine and evaluated their therapeutic potential in HBV-Tg. DCs were isolated from single cell suspensions of murine spleen cells by collagenase digestion, density centrifugation and depletion of lymphocytes. Spleen DCs were cultured with HBsAg (100 microg) for 24 h to produce HBsAg-pulsed DCs. HBV-Tg expressing HBsAg and HBV DNA in the sera were randomly assigned to receive either HBsAg-pulsed DCs (n = 20) or unpulsed DC (n = 20) or vaccine containing HBsAg (n = 39) or complete Freund's adjuvant (n = 20) or left untreated (n = 20). Only two intraperitoneal injections of HBsAg-pulsed DCs resulted in negative HBsAg and production of anti-HBs in the sera in all HBV-Tg (n = 20). However, administration of un-pulsed DCs (n = 20) or vaccine containing HBsAg (n = 39) or only complete Freund's adjuvant did not induce negative HBsAg or production of anti-HBs in any HBV-Tg within 6 months of therapy commencement. Taken together, this study showed that HBsAg-pulsed DCs represent a highly potent therapeutic vaccine for chronic HBV infection and inspire optimism of using this vaccine in clinical conditions. A clinical trial of HBsAg-pulsed DC in patients with chronic hepatitis B is warranted.

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