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Immunol Lett. 2007 Sep 15;112(1):30-8. Epub 2007 Jul 23.

Enhancing Th2 immune responses against amyloid protein by a DNA prime-adenovirus boost regimen for Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, P.O. Box 1649, Peoria, IL 61656, USA.


Accumulation of aggregated amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) in the brain is thought to be the initiating event leading to neurodegeneration and dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, therapeutic strategies that clear accumulated Abeta and/or prevent Abeta production and its aggregation are predicted to be effective against AD. Immunization of AD mouse models with synthetic Abeta prevented or reduced Abeta load in the brain and ameliorated their memory and learning deficits. The clinical trials of Abeta immunization elicited immune responses in only 20% of AD patients and caused T-lymphocyte meningoencephalitis in 6% of AD patients. In attempting to develop safer vaccines, we previously demonstrated that an adenovirus vector, AdPEDI-(Abeta1-6)11, which encodes 11 tandem repeats of Abeta1-6 can induce anti-inflammatory Th2 immune responses in mice. Here, we investigated whether a DNA prime-adenovirus boost regimen could elicit a more robust Th2 response using AdPEDI-(Abeta1-6)11 and a DNA plasmid encoding the same antigen. All mice (n=7) subjected to the DNA prime-adenovirus boost regimen were positive for anti-Abeta antibody, while, out of 7 mice immunized with only AdPEDI-(Abeta1-6)11, four mice developed anti-Abeta antibody. Anti-Abeta titers were indiscernible in mice (n=7) vaccinated with only DNA plasmid. The mean anti-Abeta titer induced by the DNA prime-adenovirus boost regimen was approximately 7-fold greater than that by AdPEDI-(Abeta1-6)11 alone. Furthermore, anti-Abeta antibodies induced by the DNA prime-adenovirus boost regimen were predominantly of the IgG1 isotype. These results indicate that the DNA prime-adenovirus boost regimen can enhance Th2-biased responses with AdPEDI-(Abeta1-6)11 in mice and suggest that heterologous prime-boost strategies may make AD immunotherapy more effective in reducing accumulated Abeta.

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