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Gastroenterology. 2006 Feb;130(2):453-64.

Vaccination with protein-transduced dendritic cells elicits a sustained response to hepatitis C viral antigens.

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The Liver Research Center, Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School, Providence, 02903, USA.



Professional antigen-presenting dendritic cells are capable of eliciting a vigorous antiviral response in naive T cells. The administration of antigen-loaded dendritic cells offers a potential approach to induce high-level immunity against hepatitis C virus.


The dendritic cell population in mice was expanded in vivo by hydrodynamic delivery of naked DNA that encoded the secreted form of human fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand. The CD11c-enriched dendritic cell population obtained from the spleen was transduced in vitro with recombinant hepatitis C virus core and nonstructural 5 proteins by using macromolecular-based protein delivery. Vaccine efficacy was assessed with a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte assay, cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and intracellular cytokine staining in vitro and by a tumor challenge model in vivo.


Relative to mice inoculated with nontransduced dendritic cells, splenocytes derived from mice immunized with either hepatitis C virus core-transduced or nonstructural 5-transduced dendritic cells showed 3- to 5-fold greater antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity. The CD4(+) T cells obtained from mice immunized with nonstructural 5-transduced dendritic cells produced interferon gamma, but not interleukin 4, when stimulated with nonstructural 5. In contrast, T cells derived from mice immunized with hepatitis C virus core-transduced dendritic cells produced neither interferon gamma nor interleukin 4 when stimulated with core protein. Mice vaccinated with nonstructural 5-transduced dendritic cells, but not a nonstructural 5-expressing plasmid, showed a sustained antiviral response to nonstructural 5 as evidenced by reduced growth of nonstructural 5-expressing tumor cells inoculated 10 weeks after vaccination.


These findings suggest that vaccination with protein-transduced dendritic cells may constitute an important antiviral strategy for hepatitis C virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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