Induction of protective immunity against toxoplasmosis in mice by DNA immunization with a plasmid encoding Toxoplasma gondii GRA4 gene
ABSTRACT GRA4 is a dense granule protein of Toxoplasma gondii that is a candidate for vaccination against this parasite. We have inserted the entire coding sequence of GRA4 into an eukaryotic expression vector to determine whether DNA immunization can elicit protective immune response to T. gondii. Susceptible C57BL/6 mice were then vaccinated intramuscularly with GRA4 DNA and orally challenged with a lethal dose of 76 K T. gondii strain cysts. Immunization with pGRA4 resulted in a 62% survival of C57BL/6 infected mice. Mice immunized with GRA4 DNA developed high levels of serum anti-GRA4 immunoglobulin G antibodies as well as a cellular immune response, as assessed by splenocyte proliferation, in response to recombinant GRA4 protein restimulation in vitro. The cellular immune response was associated with IFN-γ and IL-10 synthesis, suggesting a modulated Th1-type response. Splenocyte proliferation was strongly enhanced and protection slightly higher by inoculation with GRA4 DNA combined with a granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor expressing vector. This is the first report that demonstrates the establishment of a DNA vaccine-induced protective immunity against the acute phase of T. gondii infection.
Article: Parasite stage-specific recognition of endogenous Toxoplasma gondii-derived CD8+ T cell epitopes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BALB/c mice control infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii and develop a latent chronic infection in the brain, as do immunocompetent humans. Interferon-gamma-producing CD8+ T cells provide essential protection against T. gondii infection, but the epitopes recognized have so far remained elusive. We employed caged major histocompatibility complex molecules to generate approximately 250 H-2L(d) tetramers and to distinguish T. gondii-specific CD8+ T cells in BALB/c mice. We identified 2 T. gondii-specific H-2L(d)-restricted T cell epitopes, one from dense granule protein GRA4 and the other from rhoptry protein ROP7. H-2L(d)/GRA4 reactive T cells from multiple organ sources predominated 2 weeks after infection, while the reactivity of the H-2L(d)/ROP7 T cells peaked 6-8 weeks after infection. BALB/c animals infected with T. gondii mutants defective in establishing a chronic infection showed altered levels of antigen-specific T cells, depending on the T. gondii mutant used. Our results shed light on the identity and the parasite stage-specificity of 2 CD8+ T cell epitopes recognized in the acute and chronic phase of infection with T. gondii.The Journal of Infectious Diseases 11/2008; 198(11):1625-33. · 6.41 Impact Factor
Article: DNA vaccination with a gene encoding Toxoplasma gondii GRA6 induces partial protection against toxoplasmosis in BALB/c mice.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Infection with the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii causes serious public health problems and is of great economic importance worldwide. Protection from acute toxoplasmosis is known to be mediated by CD8+ T cells, but the T. gondii antigens and host genes required for eliciting protective immunity have been poorly defined. The T. gondii dense granule protein 6 (GRA6), recently proved to be highly immunogenic and produces fully immune protection in T. gondii infected BALB/c mice with an H-2Ld gene. The CD8+ T cell response of H-2Ld mice infected by the T. gondii strain seemed to target entirely to a single GRA6 peptide HF10-H-2Ld complex. To determine whether a GRA6-based DNA vaccine can elicit protective immune responses to T. gondii in BALB/c mice, we constructed a eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1-HisGRA6 and tested its immunogenicity in a mouse model. BALB/c mice were vaccinated intramuscularly with three doses of GRA6 DNA and then challenged with a lethal dose of T. gondii RH strain tachyzoites. All immunized mice developed high levels of serum anti-GRA6 IgG antibodies, and in vitro splenocyte proliferation was strongly enhanced in mice adjuvanted with levamisole (LMS). Immunization with pcDNA3.1-HisGRA6 with LMS resulted in 53.3% survival of challenged BALB/c mice as compared to 40% survival of BALB/c without LMS. Additionally, immunized Kunming mice without an allele of H-2Ld failed to survive. Our result supports the concept that the acquired immune response is MHC restricted. This study has a major implication for vaccine designs using a single antigen in a population with diverse MHC class I alleles.Parasites & Vectors 11/2011; 4:213. · 2.94 Impact Factor