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The nucleocapsid of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is composed of 180 to 240 copies of the HBV core (HBc) protein. HBc antigen (HBcAg) capsids are extremely immunogenic and can activate naive B cells by cross-linking their surface receptors. The molecular basis for the interaction between HBcAg and naive B cells is not known. The functionality of this(More)
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) core (HBc) antigen (HBcAg) is a highly immunogenic subviral particle. Studies with mice have shown that HBcAg can bind and activate B cells in a T-cell-independent fashion. By using a human peripheral blood leukocyte (hu-PBL)-Nod/LtSz-Prkdc(scid)/Prkdc(scid) (NOD/SCID) mouse model, we show here that HBcAg also activates human B(More)
Infection with hepatitis B virus has become a vaccine-preventable disease. The recombinant hepatitis B vaccines available today are safe and immunogenic. In order for these vaccines to eradicate HBV a universal vaccination of neonates and/or children needs to be implemented. Major obstacles on the road to global hepatitis B vaccination are poverty and(More)
A weakness of the hu-PBL-SCID model for the study of human immune functions is the appearance of anergy and the consequent loss of T cell function. We demonstrate here that human T cells retain normal functions during the early stage of chimerism. At 1 and 2 weeks post-engraftment, T cells isolated from the peritoneal cavity of hu-PBL chimeras could be(More)
The hepatitis B virus nucleocapsid or core antigen is extremely immunogenic during infection and after immunization. This review summarizes several features of the nucleocapsid which explain this exceptionally high immunogenicity: a unique three-dimensional folding, the presence of a region that interacts with immunoglobulins outside the classical(More)
The mechanisms causing non-responsiveness to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) vaccines in man remain elusive. The increased incidence of non-responsiveness in subjects with HLA-DR3(+) or -DR7(+) haplotypes suggests that immune response mechanisms governed by genes of the MHC are involved. Homozygotes for these two haplotypes are found almost exclusively(More)
The HLA DR13 allele has been associated with a self-limited course of hepatitis B virus infection, possibly through the induction of a more vigorous hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) and/or hepatitis B e antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell response. HBcAg-specific CD4(+) T cell responses were investigated in three HLA DR13-positive subjects with self-limited,(More)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) core antigen (HBcAg)-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses are believed to play an important role in the control of human HBV infection. In the present study, HBcAg-specific, HLA-DR13*-restricted CD4(+) Th1-type T-cell clones were generated which secreted both gamma interferon and tumor necrosis factor alpha after in vitro antigen(More)
RORγt and RORα are transcription factors of the RAR-related orphan nuclear receptor (ROR) family. They are expressed in Th17 cells and have been suggested to play a role in Th17 differentiation. Although RORγt signature genes have been characterized in mouse Th17 cells, detailed information on its transcriptional control in human Th17 cells is limited and(More)
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