Hepatitis delta: in vitro evaluation of cytotoxicity and cytokines involved in PEG-IFN therapy

Larissa Deadame de Figueiredo Nicolete, Celso Vladimiro Cunha, João Paulo Tavanez, Mariana Tomazini Pinto, Evandra Strazza Rodrigues, Simone Kashima, Dimas Tadeu Covas, Juan Miguel Villalobos-Salcedo, Roberto Nicolete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment for hepatitis Delta virus (HDV) still consists of Pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) combined with inhibitors of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication. In some patients may be occur a virological response, which means a negative HDV RNA 6 months after stopping treatment. In this study it was conducted an in vitro approach with the aim to mimic possible immunological events that are observed in patients responding to PEG-IFN therapy. Jurkat cells (human T lymphocyte cell line) were employed alone or co-cultured with THP-1 (human monocytic cell line) and stimulated with controls and HBV Surface Antigen (HBsAg), Small-Delta Antigen (SHDAg), and HBsAg + SHDAg combined. Twenty-four hours stimulation with SHDAg and/or HBSAg led to a toxic profile in a co-culture condition and cell supernatants were collected for cytokines quantification. PEG-IFN was added and cells were incubated for additional 24 h. Co-cultured cells incubated with the association (SHDAg + PEG-IFN) significantly produced levels of IFN-γ, IL-2 and IL-12. On the other hand, the HBsAg alone was able to inhibit the production of IFN-γ, suggesting that this antigen may hinder the treatment exclusively with PEG-IFN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107302
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Cytokines
  • HBV
  • HDV


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