Investigations into human cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific cellular immunity are important to better understand and manage CMV infections. CMV phosphoprotein pp65 is thought to be a major antigen for CMV-specific cellular immunity. We newly synthesized protein pp65 with a baculovirus expression system and purified it via metal affinity chromatography in a soluble form. The recombinant protein pp65 was antigenic in an enzyme immuno-linked assay for pp65-specific IgG in sera from 196 children. Traditional lymphoproliferation assays have shown that pp65 protein promotes specific lymphoproliferation in CMV-seropositive donors. Using an intracellular cytokine detection system, we showed that this recombinant protein stimulated CD4-positive T cells to express interferon-γ. The results of these assays using protein pp65 were comparable with the use of CMV whole antigen. pp65- and CMV-specific cellular immunity, and CMV DNA load were also compared in four recipients of unrelated cord blood transplantation. The delay in re-constitution in CMV-specific cellular immunity was associated with reactivation of CMV. These results indicated that the recombinant protein pp65 can be used to study specific immunity in CMV infections.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2002
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