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J Immunol. 1997 Nov 15;159(10):5107-13.

Inhibitory effects of chronic ethanol consumption on cellular immune responses to hepatitis C virus core protein are reversed by genetic immunizations augmented with cytokine-expressing plasmids.

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  • 1Molecular Hepatology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Charlestown 02129, USA.

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection is a major clinical problem in alcoholics with liver disease and may result from ethanol effects on the host immune response. To experimentally assess such effects, the DNA-based immunization approach was used to produce humoral and cellular immune responses against the HCV core protein in mice. Mice were fed an ethanol or isocaloric pair-fed control liquid diet followed by immunizations with HCV core DNA-expressing constructs. Chronic ethanol feeding was found to inhibit Th cell and CTL activities and substantially reduced cytokine secretion as well. In addition, a switch from Th1 to Th0 subtype was observed in proliferating CD4+ T cells derived from chronic ethanol-fed mice. These immunosuppressive effects were directly due to ethanol since crossover experiments to an isocaloric control diet restored the defects in cellular immunity. Furthermore, we determined if coadministration of an IL-2 or GM-CSF DNA expression plasmid with a plasmid expressing the HCV core protein (pHCV2-2) would reverse the inhibitory effects of chronic ethanol feeding on cellular immune responses. Coimmunization of chronic ethanol-fed mice with either IL-2 or GM-CSF expression plasmids restored cellular immunity and induced CD4+ inflammatory T cell and CD8+ CTL responses comparable with control mice immunized with pHCV2-2 alone. These studies provide evidence of how chronic ethanol feeding may effect cellular immune responses to a viral structural protein in the context of genetic immunization.

PMID:
9366440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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