Author(s): Gu QL, Huang X, Ren WH, Shen L, Liu BY,
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Abstract AIM: To investigate a novel DNA vaccination based upon expression of the HBV e antigen fused to a heat shock protein (HSP) as a strategy to enhance DNA vaccine potency. METHODS: A pCMV-HBeAg-HSP DNA vaccine and a control DNA vaccine were generated. Mice were immunized with these different construct. Immune responses were measured 2 wk after a second immunization by a T cell response assay, CTL cytotoxicity assay, and an antibody assay in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. CT26-HBeAg tumor cell challenge test in vivo was performed in BALB/c mice to monitor anti-tumor immune responses. RESULTS: In the mice immunized with pCMV-HBe-HSP DNA, superior CTL activity to target HBV-positive target cells was observed in comparison with mice immunized with pCMV-HBeAg (44\% +/- 5\% vs 30\% +/- 6\% in E:T > 50:1, P < 0.05). ELISPOT assays showed a stronger T-cell response from mice immunized with pCMV-HBe-HSP than that from pCMV-HBeAg immunized animals when stimulated either with MHC class I or class II epitopes derived from HBeAg (74\% +/- 9\% vs 31\% +/- 6\%, P < 0.01). ELISA assays revealed an enhanced HBeAg antibody response from mice immunized with pCMV-HBe-HSP than from those immunized with pCMV-HBeAg. The lowest tumor incidence and the slowest tumor growth were observed in mice immunized with pCMV-HBe-HSP when challenged with CT26-HBeAg. CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate a broad enhancement of antigen-specific CD4+ helper, CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell, and B-cell responses by a novel DNA vaccination strategy. They also proved a stronger antigen-specific immune memory, which may be superior to currently described HBV DNA vaccination strategies for the treatment of chronic HBV infection.
This article was published in World J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination