T cell proliferative responses against human papillomavirus type 16 E7 oncoprotein are most prominent in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia patients with a persistent viral infection

J Gen Virol. 1996 Sep;77 ( Pt 9):2183-91. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-77-9-2183.


T cell proliferative responses against human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E7 protein were studied in relation to HPV status over time in 51 women originally diagnosed with abnormal cervical cytology and participating in a follow-up study. HPV-16-positive patients were grouped as having either a persistent, a cleared or a fluctuating HPV-16 infection as determined by PCR in consecutive cervical smears up until the moment of testing. Positive proliferative responses against HPV-16 E7 were found in 15/26 patients with a persistent, cleared or fluctuating HPV-16 infection (57.7%). In contrast, 0/15 patients who had been typed HPV-negative during follow-up showed positive responses (P = 0.0005). Further analysis showed positive responses to be more frequent in patients with persistent HPV-16 infections and stable or progressing cervical lesions (8/9 patients reactive, 88.9%) as compared to patients with cleared or fluctuating HPV-16 infections and stable or regressing cervical lesions (7/17, 41.1%, P = 0.04). The relatively strong T cell proliferative responses against HPV-16 E7 observed in patients with a persistent HPV-16 infection and progressive cervical lesions indicate that the effectivity of such responses cannot be predicted and apparently depends on additional factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / immunology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / chemical synthesis
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / immunology*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / immunology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Virus Latency


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • oncogene protein E7, Human papillomavirus type 16