Indexed on: 11 Apr '15Published on: 11 Apr '15Published in: Vaccine
Hepatitis B virus infection is a non-cytopathic hepatotropic virus which can lead to chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Traditional therapies fail to provide sustained control of viral replication and liver damage in most patients. As an alternative strategy, immunotherapeutic approaches have shown promising efficacy in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B patients. Here, we investigated the efficacy of a novel therapeutic vaccine formulation consisting of two HBV antigens, HBsAg and HBcAg, and CpG adjuvant. This vaccine formulation elicits forceful humoral responses directed against HBsAg/HBcAg, and promotes a Th1/Th2 balance response against HBsAg and a Th1-biased response against HBcAg in both C57BL/6 and HBV transgenic mice. Vigorous cellular immune response was also detected in HBV transgenic mice, for a significantly higher number of HBs/HBc-specific IFN-γ secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was generated. Moreover, vaccinated mice elicited significantly intense in vivo CTL attack, reduced serum HBsAg level without causing liver damage in HBV transgenic mice. In summary, this study demonstrates a novel therapeutic vaccine with the potential to elicit vigorous humoral and cellular response, overcoming tolerance in HBV transgenic mice.