Background and Aim: The chronicity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the result of impaired HBV-specific immune responses that cannot eliminate or cure the infected hepatocytes efficiently. Previous studies have used immunodeficient mice such as herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase NOD/Scid/IL2Rrnull (HSV-TK-NOG) mice. However, it is difficult to analyze the immune response in the previous models. In the present study, we established a novel HBV infection model using herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) mice in which the host immune system was not impaired. Methods: Herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase mice were injected intraperitoneally with ganciclovir (GCV). Seven days after GCV injection, GCV-treated mice were transplanted with 1 × 106 hepatocytes from HBV-transgenic (HBV-Tg) mice. Results: Serum alanine aminotransferase levels in HSV-TK mice increased 1 and 2 weeks after GCV injection. The number and viability of hepatocytes from the whole liver of HBV-Tg mice significantly increased using digestion medium containing liberase. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive areas in the liver tissue were observed for at least 20 weeks after HBsAg-positive hepatocyte transplantation. In addition, we measured HBsAg in the serum after transplantation. HBsAg levels in HBV-Tg hepatocyte-replaced mice increased 4 weeks after transplantation. Furthermore, we examined the immune response in HSV-TK mice. The increase in hepatitis B surface antibody levels in replaced mice was maintained for 20 weeks. Also, interferon-γ-producing cells were increased in non-replaced mice. Conclusions: A novel HBV infection mouse model will help to understand the mechanisms of HBV tolerance similar to human chronic HBV-infected patients and can be used to develop a new strategy to treat chronic HBV infection.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)|
|Publication status||Published - 03-2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes