The viral antigen (Ag)-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), i.e., PSC-CTLs, have the ability to suppress hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. After adoptive transfer, PSC-CTLs can infiltrate into the liver to suppress HBV replication. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which the viral Ag-specific PSC-CTLs provoke the antiviral response remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we generated the functional HBV surface Ag-specific CTLs from the induced PSC (iPSCs), i.e., iPSC-CTLs, and investigated the underlying mechanisms of the CTL-mediated antiviral replication in a murine model. We show that adoptive transfer of HBV surface Ag-specific iPSC-CTLs greatly suppressed HBV replication and prevented HBV surface Ag expression. We further demonstrate that the adoptive transfer significantly increased T cell accumulation and production of antiviral cytokines. These results indicate that stem cell-derived viral Ag-specific CTLs can robustly accumulate in the liver and suppress HBV replication through producing antiviral cytokines.
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