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Eur J Immunol. 2010 Oct;40(10):2791-6. doi: 10.1002/eji.201040511.

Targeting of LcrV virulence protein from Yersinia pestis to dendritic cells protects mice against pneumonic plague.

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Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology and Chris Browne Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065-6399, USA.


To help design needed new vaccines for pneumonic plague, we targeted the Yersinia pestis LcrV protein directly to CD8α(+) DEC-205(+) or CD8α(-) DCIR2(+) DC along with a clinically feasible adjuvant, poly IC. By studying Y. pestis in mice, we could evaluate the capacity of this targeting approach to protect against a human pathogen. The DEC-targeted LcrV induced polarized Th1 immunity, whereas DCIR2-targeted LcrV induced fewer CD4(+) T cells secreting IFN-γ, but higher IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 production. DCIR-2 targeting elicited higher anti-LcrV Ab titers than DEC targeting, which were comparable to a protein vaccine given in alhydrogel adjuvant, but the latter did not induce detectable T-cell immunity. When DEC- and DCIR2-targeted and F1-V+ alhydrogel-vaccinated mice were challenged 6 wk after vaccination with the virulent CO92 Y. pestis, the protection level and Ab titers induced by DCIR2 targeting were similar to those induced by F1-V protein with alhydrogel vaccination. Therefore, LcrV targeting to DC elicits combined humoral and cellular immunity, and for the first time with this approach, also induces protection in a mouse model for a human pathogen.

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