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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1997 Sep 3;89(17):1285-93.

Lymphoproliferative responses to human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 proteins E6 and E7: outcome of HPV infection and associated neoplasia.

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Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.



Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 (HPV16) is a major cause of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Experiments were planned to evaluate the role of cell-mediated immunity (e.g., lymphocyte proliferation) against HPV in the natural history of HPV-associated neoplasia and to identify antigenic sequences of the HPV16 proteins E6 and E7 against which an immune response may confer protection.


Forty-nine women with abnormal cervical cytology and biopsy-confirmed CIN were followed through one or more clinic visits. Lymphoproliferative responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to HPV16 E6 and E7 peptides were assessed in long-term (3-week) cultures. HPV DNA was detected in cervicovaginal lavage by means of polymerase chain reaction and Southern blotting. Disease status was determined by cervical cytologic examination and colposcopy. Reported P values are two-sided.


Subjects with positive lymphoproliferative responses to E6 and/or E7 peptides were more likely to be HPV negative at the same clinic visit than were nonresponders (P = .039). Subjects who were negative for HPV and those with a low viral load were more likely to be responders than were those with a high viral load (P for trend = .037). Responses to N-terminal E6 peptide 369 were associated with absence of HPV infection at the same clinic visit (P = .015). Subjects with positive responses to E6 or E7 peptides at one clinic visit were 4.4 times more likely to be HPV negative at the next visit than were nonresponders (P = .142). Responses to E6 peptide 369 and/or E7 C-terminal peptide 109 were associated with an absence of HPV infection (P = .02 for both) and an absence of CIN (P = .04 and .02, respectively) at the next visit.


Lymphoproliferative responses to specific HPV16 E6 and E7 peptides appear to be associated with the clearance of HPV infection and the regression of CIN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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