Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 1987 Oct 8-14;329(6139):547-9.

Antibody production to the nucleocapsid and envelope of the hepatitis B virus primed by a single synthetic T cell site.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California 92037.


The nucleocapsid (HBcAg) of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) can induce antibody responses via both a T-cell dependent and a T-cell independent pathway and is highly immunogenic during infection. We have examined the T-cell determinants of the antigen and find that HBcAg-specific helper T cells (TH) can help B cells produce antibody against envelope (HBsAg) antigens as well as HBcAg, even though these antigens are found on separate molecules. We have also been able to prime helper T cells with synthetic T-cell epitopes of HBcAg; helper cells primed with a single synthetic epitope can induce B cells to produce antibody that reacts with multiple HBsAg epitopes. One problem with the development of an HBV vaccine is that some vaccinees and patients do not respond to HBsAg directly; our results indicate that this problem can be circumvented using the response to HBcAg.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center