Author(s): Zhu J, Huang X, Yang Y
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Abstract Recombinant adenoviral vectors have been widely used for gene therapy applications and as vaccine vehicles for treating infectious diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus disease. The innate immune response to adenoviruses represents the most significant hurdle in clinical application of adenoviral vectors for gene therapy, but it is an attractive feature for vaccine development. How adenovirus activates innate immunity remains largely unknown. Here we showed that adenovirus elicited innate immune response through the induction of high levels of type I interferons (IFNs) by both plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and non-pDCs such as conventional DCs and macrophages. The innate immune recognition of adenovirus by pDCs was mediated by Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and was dependent on MyD88, whereas that by non-pDCs was TLR independent through cytosolic sensing of adenoviral DNA. Furthermore, type I IFNs were pivotal in innate and adaptive immune responses to adenovirus in vivo, and type I IFN blockade diminished immune responses, resulting in more stable transgene expression and reduction of inflammation. These findings indicate that adenovirus activates innate immunity by its DNA through TLR-dependent and -independent pathways in a cell type-specific fashion, and they highlight a critical role for type I IFNs in innate and adaptive immune responses to adenoviral vectors. Our results that suggest strategies to interfere with type I IFN pathway may improve the outcome of adenovirus-mediated gene therapy, whereas approaches to activate the type I IFN pathway may enhance vaccine potency.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy