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

T D de Gruijl, H J Bontkes, M J Stukart, J M Walboomers, A J Remmink, R H Verheijen, T J Helmerhorst, C J Meijer, R J Scheper

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2183-91
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of general virology
Volume77 ( Pt 9)
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996


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

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