Author(s): Kushwah R, Cao H, Hu J
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Abstract In spite of the extensive research in the field of gene therapy, host immune responses continue to be the major barrier in translating basic research to clinical practice. Helper-dependent adenoviral (HD-Ad) vectors show great potential for pulmonary gene therapy, but the knowledge of pulmonary immune responses toward these vectors is very limited. In this study, we show that HD-Ad vectors are potent stimulators of dendritic cell (DC) maturation, thus leading to stimulation of T cell proliferation with approximately 6\% of naive CD4(+) T cells from pulmonary mediastinal lymph node responding to HD-Ad-treated DCs. In contrast to the belief that HD-Ad vectors are unable to prime adaptive immune response, we show for the first time, through in vivo pulmonary studies in mice, that HD-Ad vectors can prime CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses in the lung at high and substantially low doses. This indicates cross-presentation of HD-Ad-derived epitopes by DCs to prime CD8(+) T cell responses. To assess the basis of pulmonary T cell response against HD-Ad vectors, we examined the response of conventional DCs (cDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) in the lung. In response to HD-Ad delivery, there is induction of maturation in both cDC and pDC subsets, but it is the cDCs, not pDCs, that migrate rapidly to draining lymph nodes within the first 2 days after vector delivery to prime adaptive immune response against these vectors. These findings have implications for development of strategies to prevent adaptive immune responses against gene therapy vectors.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy