Hepatitis B: Model Systems and Therapeutic Approaches

J Immunol Res. 2024 May 7:2024:4722047. doi: 10.1155/2024/4722047. eCollection 2024.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major global health issue and ranks among the top causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although current antiviral medications, including nucleot(s)ide analogs and interferons, could inhibit the replication of HBV and alleviate the disease, HBV cannot be fully eradicated. The development of cellular and animal models for HBV infection plays an important role in exploring effective anti-HBV medicine. During the past decades, advancements in several cell culture systems, such as HepG2.2.15, HepAD38, HepaRG, hepatocyte-like cells, and primary human hepatocytes, have propelled the research in inhibiting HBV replication and expression and thus enriched our comprehension of the viral life cycle and enhancing antiviral drug evaluation efficacy. Mouse models, in particular, have emerged as the most extensively studied HBV animal models. Additionally, the present landscape of HBV therapeutics research now encompasses a comprehensive assessment of the virus's life cycle, targeting numerous facets and employing a variety of immunomodulatory approaches, including entry inhibitors, strategies aimed at cccDNA, RNA interference technologies, toll-like receptor agonists, and, notably, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This review describes the attributes and limitations of existing HBV model systems and surveys novel advancements in HBV treatment modalities, which will offer deeper insights toward discovering potentially efficacious pharmaceutical interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Hepatitis B virus* / drug effects
  • Hepatitis B virus* / physiology
  • Hepatitis B* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis B* / immunology
  • Hepatitis B* / virology
  • Hepatocytes / virology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Virus Replication* / drug effects