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J Immunol. 2000 Aug 1;165(3):1228-35.

CpG-DNA-mediated transient lymphadenopathy is associated with a state of Th1 predisposition to antigen-driven responses.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.


Infections can influence concurrent and subsequent Th1 vs Th2 immune responses to Ags. Through pattern recognition of foreign unmethylated CpG dinucleotides, the vertebrate innate immune system can sense infectious danger and typically replies with a Th1-polarized adaptive immune response. We examined whether CpG-DNA exposure would influence subsequent responses to infection and soluble Ags. CpG-DNA injection led to local lymphadenopathy characterized by maintenance of cellular composition with some biasing toward elevated dendritic cell composition. Sustained local production of IL-12 and IFN-gamma from dendritic cells and T cells was shown. Prior injection by up to 2 wk with CpG-DNA protected BALB/c mice from Th2 driven lethal leishmaniasis. CpG-DNA injection by up to 5 wk before soluble Ag challenge resulted in the generation of Ag-specific CTL, Th1 recall responses to Ag, and Th1-polarized Ag-specific Abs. Thus, CpG-DNA instigated a local predisposition for intense CTL responses and Th1-polarized immune responses to subsequent infections or Ag challenge. The induction by the innate immune system of a locally contained hypersensitivity could represent a capacitating immune reaction yielding rapid conditioned responses to secondary infections.

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