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Viral Immunol. 2006 Winter;19(4):702-11.

Effective induction of type 1 cytotoxic T cell responses in mice with DNA vaccine encoding two hepatitis C virus cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Xi'an, PR China.


The aims of this study were to explain whether a multiple cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope-based anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) DNA vaccine can induce specific CTL responses to each HCV CTL epitope independently and long-term CD8(+) T cell memory responses, and to determine the cytokine secretion pattern and subtype of epitope-specific cytotoxic T cells. A multi-CTL epitope gene, which consists of two epitopes of HCV (H-2(d)-restricted HCV core(133142) and E1(315322)), was cloned into the eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1. BALB/c mice (H-2(d) restricted) were vaccinated intramuscularly with this multi-CTL epitope-based DNA vaccine. The epitope-specific CTLs against target cells (P815,H-2(d) restricted) pulsed with various CTL epitope peptides were detected by lactate dehydrogenase release assay, and the precursor frequency of epitope-specific CTLs was determined by limiting dilution analysis. Cytokines (interleukin [IL]-2, IL-4, and interferon-) in culture supernatants were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The multi-CTL epitope-based DNA vaccine directed against two HCV CTL epitopes could induce specific CTL responses to each of the two CTL epitopes independently and long-term CD8(+) T cell memory responses. The epitope-specific cytotoxic T cells produced helper T cell type 1 cytokines. This work demonstrated that multiepitope DNA vaccination is a potential strategy to control HCV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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