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Modulation of Antigen-Specific Humoral Responses in Rhesus Macaques by Using Cytokine cDNAs as DNA Vaccine Adjuvants

  • Jong J. Kim
  • Joo-Sung Yang
  • Thomas C. VanCott
  • Daniel J. Lee
  • Kelledy H. Manson
  • Michael S. Wyand
  • Jean D. Boyer
  • Kenneth E. Ugen
  • David B. Weiner
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2000
  • Biology
  • Engineering


An important limitation of DNA immunization in nonhuman primates is the difficulty in generating high levels of antigen-specific antibody responses; strategies to enhance the level of immune responses to DNA immunization may be important in the further development of this vaccine strategy for humans. We approached this issue by testing the ability of molecular adjuvants to enhance the levels of immune responses generated by multicomponent DNA vaccines in rhesus macaques. Rhesus macaques were coimmunized intramuscularly with expression plasmids bearing genes encoding Th1 (interleukin 2 [IL-2] and gamma interferon)- or Th2 (IL-4)-type cytokines and DNA vaccine constructs encoding human immunodeficiency virus Env and Rev and simian immunodeficiency virus Gag and Pol proteins. We observed that the cytokine gene adjuvants (especially IL-2 and IL-4) significantly enhanced antigen-specific humoral immune responses in the rhesus macaque model. These results support the assumption that antigen-specific responses can be engineered to a higher and presumably more desirable level in rhesus macaques by genetic adjuvants.

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