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Hum Gene Ther. 1997 Feb 10;8(3):293-300.

Do DNA vaccines induce autoimmune disease?

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  • 1Section of Retroviral Immunology, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


This report examines whether plasmid DNA vaccines induce the production of anti-DNA or anti-muscle cell autoantibodies. A three-fold increase in the number of B cells secreting immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-DNA autoantibodies was detected in BALB/c mice immunized and boosted with any of three DNA plasmids (p < 0.004). This correlated with a transient increase in serum anti-DNA autoantibody titers but was not associated with the development of glomerulonephritis or autoimmune disease. None of the DNA vaccines examined stimulated the production of anti-muscle cell autoantibodies or the development of myositis. The effect of DNA vaccines on the development of nascent autoimmunity in lupus-prone (NZB x NZW)F1 mice was also examined. Repeated vaccination did not alter the onset or course of disease in these animals. These findings suggest that DNA vaccines neither initiate nor accelerate the development of systemic autoimmunity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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