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J Virol. 2003 Jan;77(2):953-62.

A protective role of locally administered immunostimulatory CpG oligodeoxynucleotide in a mouse model of genital herpes infection.

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1
Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Göteborg University Vaccine Research Institute, Göteborg University, Sweden. ali.harandi@microbio.gu.se

Abstract

Unmethylated CpG dinucleotides in bacterial DNA or synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) are known as potent activators of the immune system and inducers of several Th1-associated immunomodulatory cytokines. We therefore investigated whether such a CpG-containing ODN (CpG ODN) given mucosally in the female genital tract could enhance innate immunity and protect against genital herpes infection. Groups of C57BL/6 mice were treated intravaginally with either CpG ODN or a non-CpG ODN control in the absence of any antigen either 2 days before or 4 h after an intravaginal challenge with a normally lethal dose of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Mice treated with CpG ODN exhibited significantly decreased titers of HSV-2 in their vaginal fluids compared with non-CpG ODN-treated mice. Furthermore, CpG ODN pretreatment significantly protected against development of disease and death compared to non-CpG ODN pretreatment. Most strikingly, CpG ODN conferred protection against disease and death even when given after the viral challenge. The CpG ODN-induced protection was associated with a rapid production of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-18, and RANTES in the genital tract mucosa following CpG ODN treatment. The observed protection appeared to be dependent on IFN-gamma, IL-12, IL-18, and T cells, as CpG ODN pretreatment did not confer any significant protection in mice deficient in IFN-gamma, IL-12, IL-18, or T cells. Further, a complete protective immunity to reinfection was elicited in CpG ODN-treated, HSV-2-challenged mice, suggesting a role for mucosally administered CpG ODN in inducing the development of an acquired immune response in addition to its potent stimulation of innate immunity.

PMID:
12502811
PMCID:
PMC140825
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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