Author(s): Nayak BP, Sailaja G, Jabbar AM
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Abstract DNA vaccines exploit the inherent abilities of professional antigen-presenting cells to prime the immune system and to elicit immunity against diverse pathogens. In this study, we explored the possibility of augmenting human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp120-specific immune responses by a DNA vaccine coding for a fusion protein, CTLA4:gp120, in mice. In vitro binding studies revealed that secreted CTLA4:gp120 protein induced a mean florescence intensity shift, when incubated with Raji B cells, indicating its binding to B7 proteins on Raji B cells. Importantly, we instituted three different vaccination regimens to test the efficacy of DNA vaccines encoding gp120 and CTLA4:gp120 in the induction of both cellular (CD8(+)) and antibody responses. Each of the vaccination regimens incorporated a single intramuscular (i.m.) injection of the DNA vaccines to prime the immune system, followed by two booster injections. The i.m.-i.m.-i.m. regimen induced only modest levels of gp120-specific CD8(+) T cells, but the antibody response by CTLA4:gp120 DNA was nearly 16-fold higher than that induced by gp120 DNA. In contrast, using the i.m.-subcutaneous (s.c.)-i.m. regimen, it was found that gp120 and CTLA4:gp120 DNAs were capable of inducing significant levels of gp120-specific CD8(+) T cells (3.5 and 11\%), with antibody titers showing a modest twofold increase for CTLA4:gp120 DNA. In the i.m.-gene gun (g.g.)-g.g. regimen, the mice immunized with gp120 and CTLA4:gp120 harbored gp120-specific CD8(+) T cells at frequencies of 0.9 and 2.9\%, with the latter showing an eightfold increase in antibody titers. Thus, covalent antigen modification and the routes of genetic vaccination have the potential to modulate antigen-specific immune responses in mice.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals