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J Immunol. 1999 Jan 1;162(1):254-62.

Intranasal immunization with plasmid DNA-lipid complexes elicits mucosal immunity in the female genital and rectal tracts.

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  • 1Department of Immunobiology, Guy's Kings College, St. Thomas' Medical and Dental Schools, London, United Kingdom. l.klavinskis@umds.ac.uk


The development of vaccines against pathogens transmitted across the genito-rectal mucosa that effectively stimulate both secretory IgA Abs and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the genital tract and CTL in the draining lymph nodes (LN) has proven a major challenge. Here we report a novel, noninvasive approach of genetic vaccination via the intranasal route. Such vaccination elicits immune responses in the genital and rectal mucosa, draining LNs, and central lymphoid system. Intranasal immunization with plasmid DNA-lipid complexes encoding the model Ag firefly luciferase resulted in dissemination of the DNA and the encoded transcript throughout the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, draining LNs, and spleen. Complexing the plasmid DNA with the lipid DMRIE/DOPE enhanced expression of the encoded protein in the respiratory tract, increased specific secretory IgA Ab in the vaginal and rectal tracts, and increased the circulating levels of specific IgA and IgG. In addition, intranasal DNA immunization resulted in generation of Ag-specific CTL that were localized in the genital and cervical LNs and spleen. These results suggest that intranasal immunization with plasmid DNA-lipid complexes may represent a generic immunization strategy against pathogens transmitted across the genito-rectal and other mucosal surfaces.

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