Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Association between hepatitis B virus and MHC class I polypeptide-related chain A in human hepatocytes derived from human-mouse chimeric mouse liver.

PMID 26212443


Due to the lack of efficient hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection systems, progress in understanding the role of innate immunity in HBV infection has remained challenging. Here we used human hepatocytes from a humanized severe combined immunodeficiency albumin promoter/enhancer driven-urokinase-type plasminogen activator mouse model for HBV infection. HBV DNA levels in culture medium from these human hepatocytes were 4.8-5.7 log IU/mL between day 16 and day 66 post-infection by HBV genotype C inoculum. HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) was also detected by chemiluminescent immunoassay from day 7 to day 66 post-infection. Western blot analysis revealed that major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A (MICA), which plays a role in the innate immune system, was induced in HBV-infected human hepatocytes 27 days after infection compared with the uninfected control. MICA was reduced at day 62 and undetectable at day 90. Of interest, MICA expression by human hepatocytes increased after HBV infection and decreased before HBsAg loss. Human hepatocytes derived from chimeric mice with hepatocyte-humanized liver could support HBV genome replication. Further studies of the association between HBV replication and MICA induction should be conducted.