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Comparison of cervical and blood T-cell responses to human papillomavirus-16 in women with human papillomavirus-associated cervical intraepithelial neoplasia



Comparison of cervical and blood T-cell responses to human papillomavirus-16 in women with human papillomavirus-associated cervical intraepithelial neoplasia



Immunology 119(4): 507-514



Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are obligate epithelial pathogens and typically cause localized mucosal infections. We therefore hypothesized that T-cell responses to HPV antigens would be greater at sites of pathology than in the blood. Focusing on HPV-16 because of its association with cervical cancer, the magnitude of HPV-specific T-cell responses at the cervix was compared with those in the peripheral blood by intracellular cytokine staining following direct ex vivo stimulation with both virus-like particles assembled from the major capsid protein L1, and the major HPV oncoprotein, E7. We show that both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from the cervix responded to the HPV-16 antigens and that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production was HPV type-specific. Comparing HPV-specific T-cell IFN-gamma responses at the cervix with those in the blood, we found that while CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses to L1 were significantly correlated between compartments (P = 0.02 and P = 0.05, respectively), IFN-gamma responses in both T-cell subsets were significantly greater in magnitude at the cervix than in peripheral blood (P = 0.02 and P = 0.003, respectively). In contrast, both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell IFN-gamma responses to E7 were of similar magnitude in both compartments and CD8(+) responses were significantly correlated between these distinct immunological compartments (P = 0.04). We therefore show that inflammatory T-cell responses against L1 (but not E7) demonstrate clear compartmental bias and the magnitude of these responses do reflect local viral replication but that correlation of HPV-specific responses between compartments indicates their linkage.

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Accession: 012846160

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17026720

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2006.02465.x


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