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Vaccine. 2007 Oct 16;25(42):7410-21. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

HSV-1 amplicon vectors elicit polyfunctional T cell responses to HIV-1 Env, and strongly boost responses to an adenovirus prime.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


HSV-1 amplicon vectors elicit strong T-cell responses to encoded antigens but the qualitative nature of these responses is poorly understood. Antigen-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses to amplicon and adenovirus (rAd5) vectors encoding HIV-1 gp120 were assessed following immunization of mice, by performing intracellular cytokine staining for IFNgamma, IL2 and TNFalpha, following stimulation of splenocytes with a HIV-1 Env peptide pool. The quality of the primary T-cell response to amplicon and rAd5 vectors was strikingly similar, but there were qualitative differences in responses to amplicon vectors that incorporated different promoters upstream of gp120 - suggesting that promoters can significantly influence immune response quality. When prime-boost combinations were studied, a rAd5 prime and amplicon boost elicited the highest T-cell response. Furthermore, protocols that incorporated a rAd5 prime consistently elicited a greater proportion of polyfunctional CD4(+) T-cells-regardless of boost. This suggests that initial priming can shape immune response quality after a boost. Overall, these findings provide insight into effective vector combinations for HIV-1 vaccine development.

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