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Vaccine. 2008 Mar 17;26(12):1541-51. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.01.035. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Delivery of DNA HIV-1 vaccine to the liver induces high and long-lasting humoral immune responses.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-2170, USA.


The quality of immune responses induced by DNA vaccination depends on the site of DNA administration, the expression, and the properties of the encoded antigen. In the present study, we demonstrate that intravenous hydrodynamic HIV-1 envelope DNA injection resulted in high levels of expression of HIV-1 envelope antigen in the liver. When compared to the administration of DNA by i.n., i.d., i.m., and i.splenic routes, hydrodynamic vaccination induced, upon DNA boosting, levels of HIV-1 envelope-specific antibodies 40-fold higher than those elicited by the other routes tested. Hydrodynamic vaccination with 1 microg DNA induced higher humoral responses than 100 microg DNA given intramuscularly in the prime-boost regimen. High levels of envelope-specific IgG and IgA antibodies were induced in genital tract secretions after two doses of DNA followed by intranasal boosting with recombinant HIV-1 gp120 protein. Furthermore, two doses of 100 microg DNA generated interferon-gamma production in approximately 4.3+/-1.7% of CD8(+) splenocytes after in vitro stimulation with HIV-1 envelope peptides. These results demonstrate that DNA vaccines targeted to tissues with high proteosynthetic activity, such as the liver, results in enhanced immune responses.

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