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Mol Ther. 2006 Feb;13(2):260-9.

Determination of specific CD4 and CD8 T cell epitopes after AAV2- and AAV8-hF.IX gene therapy.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294, USA.


The application of AAV2 or AAV8 vectors for delivery of human coagulation factor IX (hF.IX) is a promising gene therapy for hemophilia B. One major limitation of this therapy is the development of antibodies and a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against both the vector capsid and the transgene. We determined the class I and class II MHC peptide epitopes for AAV2, AAV8, and hF.IX after administration of AAV-2-hF.IX or AAV8-hF.IX in H2(b) (C57BL/6), H2(d) (BALB/c), or H2(k) (C3H) strains of mice. The results indicate that the AAV2 capsid peptide AA(373-381), the AAV8 capsid peptide AA(50-58), and the hF.IX transgene peptide AA(311-319) can elicit a CTL response as indicated by an IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay and an in vivo CTL assay. Furthermore, a strong H2(k) MHC II-restricted Th1 response can be elicited in C3H mice by the AAV8 capsid peptide AA(126-140) and the hF.IX peptide AA(108-122), whereas a strong Th2 response can be elicited by the AAV2 peptide AA(475-489). These results show that specific CTL responses are generated to both AAV capsid epitopes and hF.IX epitopes after injection of AAV-hF.IX, and MHC class II epitopes derived from AAV-hF.IX promote development of either Th1 or Th2 cells.

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