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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Feb 19;105(7):2574-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0711976105. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

The microbial mimic poly IC induces durable and protective CD4+ T cell immunity together with a dendritic cell targeted vaccine.

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Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology, Chris Browne Center for Immunology and Immune Diseases, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.


CD4(+) Th1 type immunity is implicated in resistance to global infectious diseases. To improve the efficacy of T cell immunity induced by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccines, we are developing a protein-based approach that directly harnesses the function of dendritic cells (DCs) in intact lymphoid tissues. Vaccine proteins are selectively delivered to DCs by antibodies to DEC-205/CD205, a receptor for antigen presentation. We find that polyriboinosinic:polyribocytidylic acid (poly IC) independently serves as an adjuvant to allow a DC-targeted protein to induce protective CD4(+) T cell responses at a mucosal surface, the airway. After two doses of DEC-targeted, HIV gag p24 along with poly IC, responder CD4(+) T cells have qualitative features that have been correlated with protective function. The T cells simultaneously make IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and IL-2, and in high amounts for prolonged periods. The T cells also proliferate and continue to secrete IFN-gamma in response to HIV gag p24. The adjuvant role of poly IC requires Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and melanoma differentiation-associated gene-5 (MDA5) receptors, but its analog poly IC(12)U requires only TLR3. We suggest that poly IC be tested as an adjuvant with DC-targeted vaccines to induce numerous multifunctional CD4(+) Th1 cells with proliferative capacity.

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