Human papillomavirus type 16 E2-specific T-helper lymphocyte responses in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

J Gen Virol. 1999 Sep;80 ( Pt 9):2453-2459. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-80-9-2453.


T-cell-mediated immune responses against mucosal oncogenic types of human papillomaviruses (HPV) are thought to play a role in the control of the virus infection and its associated cervical lesions. The in vitro production of interleukin-2 by T-helper (Th) cells in response to the C-terminal and N-terminal domains of the HPV-16 E2 protein was determined in 74 women with cytological evidence of premalignant cervical epithelial neoplasia who participated in a non-intervention follow-up (FU) study. Cross-sectional analysis at the end of FU showed that Th cell responses against the C-terminal domain were associated with evidence of previous or present HPV-16 infection as compared to patients with no evidence of any HPV infection (18.9% versus 0%, P = 0.039). Th cell responses against the N-terminal domain were not associated with evidence of HPV-16 infection. No association with disease outcome was observed with Th cell responses against either of the E2 protein domains. However, longitudinal analysis revealed that Th cell responses against the C-terminal domain frequently occur at the time of virus clearance. Whether these responses are responsible for the clearance of the virus is not known.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / immunology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / immunology*
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • E2 protein, Human papillomavirus type 16
  • Interleukin-2
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral