Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Hum Gene Ther. 2009 Oct;20(10):1143-56. doi: 10.1089/hum.2009.025.

Plasmid-encoded interleukin-15 receptor alpha enhances specific immune responses induced by a DNA vaccine in vivo.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Plasmid-encoded DNA vaccines appear to be a safe and effective method for delivering antigen; however, the immunogenicity of such vaccines is often suboptimal. Cytokine adjuvants including interleukin (IL)-12, RANTES, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, IL-15, and others have been used to augment the immune response against DNA vaccines. In particular, IL-15 binds to a unique high-affinity receptor, IL-15R alpha; is trans-presented to CD8(+) T cells expressing the common betagamma chain; and has been shown to play a role in the generation, maintenance, and proliferation of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. In this study, we took the unique approach of using both a cytokine and its receptor as an adjuvant in an HIV-1 vaccine strategy. To study IL-15R alpha expression, a unique monoclonal antibody (KK1.23) was generated to confirm receptor expression in vitro. Coimmunization of IL-15 and IL-15R alpha plasmids with HIV-1 antigenic plasmids in mice enhanced the antigen-specific immune response 2-fold over IL-15 immunoadjuvant alone. Furthermore, plasmid-encoded IL-15R alpha augments immune responses in the absence of IL-15, suggesting its role as a novel adjuvant. Moreover, pIL-15R alpha enhanced the cellular, but not the humoral, immune response as measured by antigen-specific IgG antibody. This is the first report describing that IL-15R alpha itself can act as an adjuvant by enhancing an antigen-specific T cell response. Uniquely, pIL-15 and pIL-15R alpha adjuvants combined, but not the receptor alpha chain alone, may be useful as a strategy for generating and maintaining memory CD8(+) T cells in a DNA vaccine.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center