A lack of relevant animal models has hampered preclinical screening and critical evaluation of the efficacy of human vaccines in vivo. Carcinoembryonic antigen–A2Kb (CEA–A2Kb) double transgenic mice provide a biologically relevant model for preclinical screening and critical evaluation of human CEA vaccine efficacy in vivo, particularly because such animals are peripherally tolerant of CEA. We established the utility of this model by demonstrating that an oral DNA minigene vaccine induces effective HLA-A2–restricted, CEA-specific antitumor CTL responses. This finding is supported by three lines of evidence: (a) an effective HLA-A2–restricted, CEA691-specific CTL response; (b) specific in vitro killing of CEA-A2Kb transduced MC-38 colon carcinoma cells; and (c) protective immunity induced in vaccinated mice against challenges of these tumor cells. Importantly, peripheral T cell tolerance against CEA in CEA-A2Kb double transgenic mice was broken by the CEA691 (IMIGVLVGV) minigene vaccine. In conclusion, CEA-A2Kb double transgenic mice were demonstrated to be good candidates for in vivo testing of human CEA–based vaccines. This result suggests a potential for these vaccines in future human vaccine development. The feasibility of using nonmutated self-antigens as targets for therapeutic vaccinations was indicated, provided that such antigens are presented in an immunogenic context; that is, as a DNA minigene in a bacterial carrier system.
He Zhou, Yunping Luo, Masato Mizutani, Noriko Mizutani, Jürgen C. Becker, F. James Primus, Rong Xiang, Ralph A. Reisfeld
Intradermal vaccination by gene gun efficiently delivers DNA vaccines into DCs of the skin, resulting in the activation and priming of antigen-specific T cells in vivo. DCs, however, have a limited life span, hindering their long-term ability to prime antigen-specific T cells. We reason that a strategy that prolongs the survival of DNA-transduced DCs will enhance priming of antigen-specific T cells and DNA vaccine potency. Here we show that codelivery of DNA encoding inhibitors of apoptosis (BCL-xL, BCL-2, XIAP, dominant negative caspase-9, or dominant negative caspase-8) with DNA encoding model antigens prolongs the survival of transduced DCs. More importantly, vaccinated mice exhibited significant enhancement in antigen-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses, resulting in a potent antitumor effect against antigen-expressing tumors. Among these antiapoptotic factors, BCL-xL demonstrated the greatest enhancement in antigen-specific immune responses and antitumor effects. Thus, coadministration of DNA vaccines with DNA encoding antiapoptotic proteins represents an innovative approach to enhance DNA vaccine potency.
Tae Woo Kim, Chien-Fu Hung, Morris Ling, Jeremy Juang, Liangmei He, J. Marie Hardwick, Sharad Kumar, T.-C. Wu
Immunization of newborns against viral infections may be hampered by ineffective CD8+ T cell responses. To characterize the function of CD8+ T lymphocytes in early life, we studied newborns with congenital human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. We demonstrate that HCMV infection in utero leads to the expansion and the differentiation of mature HCMV-specific CD8+ T cells, which have similar characteristics to those detected in adults. High frequencies of HCMV-specific CD8+ T cells were detected by ex vivo tetramer staining as early as after 28 weeks of gestation. During the acute phase of infection, these cells had an early differentiation phenotype (CD28–CD27+CD45RO+, perforinlow), and they acquired a late differentiation phenotype (CD28–CD27-CD45RA+, perforinhigh) during the course of the infection. The differentiated cells showed potent perforin-dependent cytolytic activity and produced antiviral cytokines. The finding of a mature and functional CD8+ T cell response to HCMV suggests that the machinery required to prime such responses is in place during fetal life and could be used to immunize newborns against viral pathogens.
Arnaud Marchant, Victor Appay, Marianne van der Sande, Nicolas Dulphy, Corinne Liesnard, Michael Kidd, Steve Kaye, Olubukola Ojuola, Geraldine M.A. Gillespie, Ana L. Vargas Cuero, Vincenzo Cerundolo, Margaret Callan, Keith P.W.J. McAdam, Sarah L. Rowland-Jones, Catherine Donner, Andrew J. McMichael, Hilton Whittle
Since the mechanisms by which specific immunity destroys Her-2/neu carcinoma cells are highly undetermined, these were assessed in BALB/c mice vaccinated with plasmids encoding extracellular and transmembrane domains of the protein product (p185neu) of the rat Her-2/neu oncogene shot into the skin by gene gun. Vaccinated mice rejected a lethal challenge of TUBO carcinoma cells expressing p185neu. Depletion of CD4 T cells during immunization abolished the protection, while depletion of CD8 cells during the effector phase halved it, and depletion of polymorphonuclear granulocytes abolished all protection. By contrast, Ig μ-chain gene KO mice, as well as Fcγ receptor I/III, β-2 microglobulin, CD1, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1), IFN-γ, and perforin gene KO mice were protected. Only mice with both IFN-γ and perforin gene KOs were not protected. Although immunization also cured all BALB/c mice bearing established TUBO carcinomas, it did not cure any of the perforin KO or perforin and IFN-γ KO mice. Few mice were cured that had knockouts of the gene for Ig μ-chain, Fcγ receptor I/III, IFN-γ, or β-2 microglobulin. Moreover, vaccination cured half of the CD1 and the majority of the MCP1 KO mice. The eradication of established p185neu carcinomas involves distinct mechanisms, each endowed with a different curative potential.
Claudia Curcio, Emma Di Carlo, Raphael Clynes, Mark J. Smyth, Katia Boggio, Elena Quaglino, Michela Spadaro, Mario P. Colombo, Augusto Amici, Pier-Luigi Lollini, Piero Musiani, Guido Forni
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