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Braz J Med Biol Res. 1999 Feb;32(2):207-14.

Immunological properties of gene vaccines delivered by different routes.

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Departamento de BioquĂ­mica e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil.


Gene vaccines represent a new and promising approach to control infectious diseases, inducing a protective immune response in the appropriate host. Several routes and methods of genetic immunization have been shown to induce antibody production as well as T helper (Th) cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation. However, few studies have compared the nature of the immune responses generated by different gene vaccination delivery systems. In the present study we reviewed some aspects of immunity induced by gene immunization and compared the immune responses produced by intramuscular (i.m.) DNA injection to gene gun-mediated DNA transfer into the skin of BALB/c mice. Using a reporter gene coding for beta-galactosidase, we have demonstrated that i.m. injection raised a predominantly Th1 response with mostly IgG2a anti-beta gal produced, while gene gun immunization induced a mixed Th1/Th2 profile with a balanced production of IgG2a and IgG1 subclasses. Distinct types of immune responses were generated by different methods of gene delivery. These findings have important implications for genetic vaccine design. Firstly, a combination between these two systems may create optimal conditions for the induction of a broad-based immune response. Alternatively, a particular gene vaccine delivery method might be used according to the immune response required for host protection. Here, we describe the characteristics of the immune response induced by gene vaccination and the properties of DNA involved in this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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