[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) is a vectorborne pathogen that induces brain inflammation and death. Recently, confirmed cases of infection and deaths have occurred in the United States Mid-Atlantic region. In this study, a DNA vaccine encoding the WNV capsid protein was constructed, and the in vivo immune responses generated were investigated in DNA vaccine-immunized mice. Antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses were observed, including a potent induction of antigen-specific Th1 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. Strong induction of Th1-type immune responses included high levels of antigen-specific elaboration of the Th1-type cytokines interferon-gamma and interleukin-2 and beta-chemokines RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell-expressed and secreted) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta. Dramatic infiltration of CD4 and CD8 T cells and macrophages also was observed at the muscle injection site. These results support the potential utility of this method as a tool for developing immunization strategies for WNV and other emerging pathogens.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 11/2001; 184(7):809-16. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multicomponent DNA vaccines were used to elicit immune responses, which can impact viral challenge in three separate rhesus macaque models. Eight rhesus macaques were immunized with DNA vaccines for HIV env/rev and SIV gag/pol and were challenged intravenously with 10 animal infective doses (AID(50)) of cell-free SHIV IIIB. Three of eight immunized rhesus macaques were protected, exhibiting no detectable virus. Animals protected from nonpathogenic SHIVIIIB challenge were rested for extended periods of time and were rechallenged first with pathogenic SIV(mac239) and subsequently with pathogenic SHIV89.6P viruses. Following the pathogenic challenges, all three vaccinated animals were negative for viral coculture and antigenemia and were negative by PCR. In contrast, the control animals exhibited antigenemia by 2 weeks postchallenge and exhibited greater than 10 logs of virus/10(6) cells in limiting dilution coculture. The control animals exhibited CD4 cell loss and developed SIV-related wasting with high viral burden and subsequently failed to thrive. Vaccinated animals remained virus-negative and were protected from the viral load, CD4 loss, disease, and death. We observed strong Th1-type cellular immune responses in the protected macaques throughout the study, suggesting their important roles in protection. These studies support the finding that multicomponent DNA vaccines can directly impact viral replication and disease in a highly pathogenic challenge system, thus potentially broadening our strategies against HIV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extensive experiments have shown DNA vaccines' ability to elicit immune responses in vivo in a safe and well-tolerated manner in several model systems, including rodents and non-human primates. As the DNA-based vaccine and immunotherapy approaches are being explored in humans, significant efforts have also been focused on further improving the immune potency of this technology. One strategy to enhance immune responses for DNA vaccines is the use of molecular or genetic adjuvants. These molecular adjuvant constructs (which encodes for immunologically important molecules such as cytokines) can be co-administered along with DNA vaccine constructs. Once delivered, these adjuvants have shown to modulate the magnitude and direction (humoral or cellular) of the vaccine-induced immune responses in rodent models. To date, however, there has been very little data reported from studies in primates. In this study, we examined the effects of cytokine gene adjuvants to enhance the level of cell-mediated immune responses in rhesus macaques. We co-immunized rhesus macaques with expression plasmids encoding for IL-2, IFN-gamma or IL-4 cytokines along with the DNA vaccine constructs encoding for HIV env/rev (pCEnv) and SIV gag/pol (pCSGag/pol) proteins. We observed that coadministration of IL-2 and IFN-gamma cDNA resulted in enhancement of antigen-specific T cell-mediated immune responses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunity to tumors as well as to viral and bacterial pathogens is often mediated by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Thus, the ability to induce a strong cell-mediated immune response is an important requirement of novel immunotherapies. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs), including dendritic cells (DCs), are specialized in initiating T-cell immunity. Harnessing this innate ability of these cells to acquire and present antigens, we sought to improve antigen presentation by targeting antigens directly to DCs in vivo through apoptosis. We engineered Fas-mediated apoptotic death of antigen-bearing cells in vivo by co-expressing the immunogen and Fas in the same cell. We then observed that the death of antigen-bearing cells results in increased antigen acquisition by APCs including DCs. This in vivo strategy led to enhanced antigen-specific CTLs, and the elaboration of T helper-1 (Th1) type cytokines and chemokines. This adjuvant approach has important implications for viral and nonviral delivery strategies for vaccines or gene therapies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nucleic acid immunization has been shown to induce both antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses in vivo. Moreover, immune responses induced by DNA immunization can be enhanced by the use of molecular adjuvants. For example, coadministration of costimulatory molecules (CD80 and CD86), proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1alpha [IL-1alpha], tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-alpha, and TNF-beta), Th1 cytokines (interleukin-2 [IL-2], IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18), Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10), and granulocytes-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) with DNA vaccine constructs leads to modulation of the magnitude and direction (humoral or cellular) of the immune responses. To further engineer the immune response in vivo, we compared the induction and regulation of immune responses from the codelivery of chemokine (IL-8, interferon-gamma-inducible protein-10 [gammaIP-10], macrophage inhibitory protein-1alpha [MIP-1alpha], and RANTES) genes with codelivery of cytokine genes. We found that as in cytokine gene codelivery, coimmunization with chemokine genes along with DNA immunogen constructs can modulate the direction and magnitude of induced immune responses. We observed that coimmunization with IL-8, gammaIP-10, and MIP-1alpha genes increased the antibody response. We also found that coinjection with IL-8, gammaIP-10, and RANTES resulted in a dramatic enhancement of T helper (Th) proliferation response. Furthermore, among all coinjection combinations, we found that RANTES coinjection caused a high level of cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) enhancement. This enhancement of CTL responses observed from the coinjection with RANTES was CD8+ T cell dependent. Together with earlier reports on the utility of coimmunizing immunologically important molecules with DNA immunogens, we demonstrate the potential of this strategy as an important tool for the development of more rationally designed vaccines.
Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research 06/2000; 20(5):487-98. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have indicated that professional APCs in the periphery, such as dendritic cells and macrophages, play an important role in initiating DNA vaccine-specific immune responses. To engineer the immune response induced by DNA vaccines in vivo we investigated the modulatory effects of codelivering growth factor genes for the hematopoietic APCs along with DNA vaccines. Specifically, we examined the effects on the antigen-specific immune responses following the codelivery of the gene expression cassettes for M-CSF, G-CSF, and GM-CSF along with HIV-1 DNA immunogen constructs. We observed that coimmunization with GM-CSF increased the antibody response and resulted in a significant enhancement of lymphoproliferative response. Furthermore, among all coinjection combinations, we found that M-CSF coinjections resulted in a high level of CTL enhancement. This enhancement of CTL responses observed from the coinjection with M-CSF was CD8+ T cell dependent and was associated with the presence of CD11c+ cells at the site of injection and with the antigen-specific induction of the beta-chemokine MIP-1beta, suggesting a role for this chemokine in CTL induction. These results suggest that hematopoietic growth factors should be further studied as potential adjuvants for in vivo modulators of immune responses.
Human Gene Therapy 02/2000; 11(2):305-21. · 4.02 Impact Factor