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Vaccine. 2004 Apr 16;22(13-14):1799-809.

Imiquimod and resiquimod in a mouse model: adjuvants for DNA vaccination by particle-mediated immunotherapeutic delivery.

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LindyDepartment of Immunotherapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline Medicines Research Centre, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2NY, UK.


Imiquimod, an immune response modifier and inducer of cytokines in vitro and in vivo, has been shown to have potent antiviral and antitumour activity and to act as an adjuvant for protein vaccination. We have undertaken studies in mice to investigate the potential of imiquimod and resiquimod to adjuvant DNA vaccination. These imidazoquinolines were administered by subcutaneous injection at the vaccination site immediately after particle-mediated immunotherapeutic delivery of plasmid DNA using a gene gun. Imiquimod was found to increase the number and maturation status of dendritic cells in draining lymph nodes, and to enhance antigen-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses, as assessed by analyses of clonal expansion, and the quantity and kinetics of cytokine production from these cells in lymph nodes and spleens collected after vaccination. A more substantial increase in IFN-gamma-producing, compared with IL-4-producing CD4(+) T cells suggested that imiquimod biased the immune response towards a predominance of Th1 cells. The analogue resiquimod was found to be to produce a similar Th1 biased immune response with a 10-fold reduced dose compared with imiquimod. Collectively, these studies suggest that both imiquimod and resiquimod may be suitable adjuvants for therapeutic DNA vaccines requiring induction of potent cytotoxic T cell responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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