News Release

Could novel immune cell therapy combat hepatitis B infections?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes progressive liver problems, and eradication of the virus remains a formidable challenge. New research in FEBS Letters indicates that treatment that boosts the effects of immune cells called stem cell memory T cells (TSCMs) may be a promising strategy for combating HBV.

In the study, investigators identified TSCMs in patients with chronic HBV infection and analyzed their effects in a mouse model of HBV. After introducing TSCMs from patients into the mice, the immune cells differentiated into cytotoxic T cells and activated a strong response that resulted in the elimination of HBV-infected liver cells. Therefore, augmenting patients’ TSCMs may help the immune system overcome the virus.

"Our hepatitis model may reveal how TSCMs differentiate into cytotoxic T cells and uncover the fate of differentiated T cells. Such information could greatly advance future research on T cell-based therapies," said corresponding author Hiromi Abe-Chayama, PhD, of Hiroshima University, in Japan.

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About the Journal
FEBS Letters is a not-for-profit society journal for the rapid publication of original research that impacts and advances knowledge in the molecular life sciences. We publish novel findings in all areas of experimental biology, including biochemistry, molecular cell biology, cell signaling, bioenergetics, structural biology, neuroscience, immunology, virology and microbiology, cancer, and the molecular basis of disease.

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