The Intrahepatic T Cell Compartment Does Not Normalize Years After Therapy-Induced Hepatitis C Virus Eradication

Michelle Spaan, Mark Claassen, Jun Hou, HLA Janssen, Rob de Knegt, Andre Boonstra

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about the immune status in liver and blood of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection long after therapy-induced viral clearance. In this study, we demonstrate that, 4 years after clearance, regulation of HCV-specific immunity in blood by regulatory T cells (Tregs) and the immunosuppressive cytokines interleukin 10 and transforming growth factor beta is still ongoing. Importantly, analysis of liver specimens collected 4 years after HCV clearance shows that intrahepatic Tregs are still present in all patients, suggesting that liver T cells remain regulated. Identifying mechanisms that regulate HCV-specific memory T-cell responses after clearance is highly relevant for the development of protective vaccines, especially in patients at high risk of reinfection.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)386-390
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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