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The induction of protective or therapeutic cellular immunity against hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a difficult goal. In a previous work we showed that immunization with a recombinant adenovirus encoding HCV-NS3 (RAdNS3) could partially protect mice from challenge with a vaccinia virus encoding HCV antigens. We sought to investigate whether systemic administration of an immunostimulatory monoclonal antibody directed against the lymphocyte surface molecule CD137 could enhance the immunity elicited by RAdNS3. It was found that treatment with anti-CD137 mAb after the administration of a suboptimal dose of RAdNS3 enhanced cytotoxic and T helper cell responses against HCV NS3. Importantly, the ability of RAdNS3 to induce protective immunity against challenge with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing HCV proteins was markedly augmented. Thus, combination of immunostimulatory anti-CD137 mAb with recombinant adenoviruses expressing HCV proteins might be useful in strategies of immunization against HCV.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3493 - 3499


Division of Hepatology and Gene Therapy, University Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra, Pio XII 55, 31008 Pamplona, Spain.


CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Animals, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Humans, Mice, Adenoviridae, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor, Vaccines, Synthetic, Antigens, CD, Viral Hepatitis Vaccines, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Viral Load, Female, Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9