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J Biotechnol. 2003 Apr 24;102(2):105-15.

Intradermal immunization with novel plasmid DNA-coated nanoparticles via a needle-free injection device.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0082, USA.


A high population of dendritic cells in the skin makes intradermal (ID) immunization an attractive route. We sought to further enhance immune responses from a previously reported novel nanoparticle-based DNA vaccine delivery system by administering the system intradermally into mouse skin using Biojector 2000, a needle-free jet injection device. Two mouse studies were carried out. Balb/C mice (n=5-6) were immunized on day 0, 7, and 14 by subcutaneous injection or via the Biojector 2000 with pDNA alone (CMV-beta-galactosidase, 5 micro g), pDNA-coated nanoparticles, or beta-galactosidase protein (10 micro g) adjuvanted with 'Alum' (15 micro g). On day 28, mice were sacrificed and specific serum IgG and IgA titer, in vitro cytokine release, and cell proliferation of isolated splenocytes were determined. Similar to previous reports, in both mouse studies, SC immunization with pDNA-coated nanoparticles led to over a log increase in specific serum IgG titer as compared to immunization with pDNA alone. For pDNA alone, jet and SC injection did not result in significant differences in IgG titer. In contrast, for pDNA-coated nanoparticles, jet injection led to as high as a 20-fold enhancement in IgG titer over SC injection. In addition, jet injection of pDNA-coated nanoparticles enhanced the IgG titer by more than 200-fold over jet injection of pDNA alone. Also, jet injection of pDNA-coated nanoparticles resulted in significantly enhanced specific serum IgA titer. For in vitro cytokine release, immunization with pDNA-coated nanoparticles by jet injection enhanced IFN-gamma and IL-4 release over pDNA alone by 6- and 5-fold, respectively. SC injection of pDNA-coated nanoparticles also resulted in enhanced IFN-gamma and IL-4 release over pDNA alone although with less magnitude. Finally, immunization with pDNA-coated nanoparticles, by both jet injection and SC injection, led to improved splenocyte proliferation over pDNA alone. In conclusion, a combination of a novel cationic nanoparticle-based DNA delivery system with ID jet injection led to enhanced antibody production, Th-1/Th-2 balanced cytokine release, and enhanced splenocyte proliferation.

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