Lymphoproliferative response to fusion proteins of human papillomaviruses in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

Epidemiol Infect. 1989 Dec;103(3):625-32. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800031022.


The cell-mediated immune response (CMI) to E6 and E4 fusion proteins of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16), E6 fusion protein of HPV-18, and to control proteins similarly produced, was analysed in 29 patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and in 15 age-matched laboratory personnel using a lymphocyte proliferation assay (LPA). Compared to controls without any added proteins, a positive response (stimulation index greater than 2.0) to the highly purified E6 control protein was found in only one patient. Positive responses to the E4 control protein which contained beta-galactosidase were noted in three patients and two controls. With control proteins as baseline, the lymphocytes from nine patients (28%) and three laboratory personnel (20%) responded to at least on HPV fusion protein after 7 days in culture. Stimulation indices were low in both groups with a range of 2.06-4.69 and the difference in incidence of positive responses between the groups is not significant. Proliferative responses to HPV-1 and HPV-2 virion antigens were noted in 6/23 (26%) of the patients and 2/15 (18%) of the other group. No correlation between responsiveness and degree of dysplasia or presence of koilocytes was found in the patient group. The relevance of the low proliferative responses is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma / immunology*
  • Carcinoma / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / immunology*


  • Viral Fusion Proteins