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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2003 Jan 30;91(2):89-103.

Biological activity of immunostimulatory CpG DNA motifs in domestic animals.

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Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan, 120 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E3.


Bacterial DNA contains a much higher frequency of CpG dinucleotides than are present in mammalian DNA. Furthermore, bacterial CpG dinucleotides are often not methylated. It is thought that these two features in combination with specific flanking bases constitute a CpG motif that is recognized as a "danger" signal by the innate immune system of mammals and therefore an immune response is induced when these motifs are encountered. These immunostimulatory activities of bacterial CpG DNA can also be achieved with synthetic CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN). Recognition of CpG motifs by the innate immune system requires engagement of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9), which induces cell signaling and subsequently triggers a pro-inflammatory cytokine response and a predominantly Th1-type immune response. CpG ODN-induced innate and adaptive immune responses can result in protection in various mouse models of disease. Based on these observations, clinical trials are currently underway in humans to evaluate CpG ODN therapies for cancer, allergy and infectious disease. However, potential applications for immunostimulatory CpG ODN in species of veterinary importance are just being explored. In this review, we will highlight what is presently known about the immunostimulatory effects of CpG ODN in domestic animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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