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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 4;8(12):e82528. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082528. eCollection 2013.

Interleukin-encoding adenoviral vectors as genetic adjuvant for vaccination against retroviral infection.

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Institute for Virology, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.
Division of Pharmacovigilance, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen, Germany.


Interleukins (IL) are cytokines with stimulatory and modulatory functions in the immune system. In this study, we have chosen interleukins which are involved in the enhancement of TH2 responses and B cell functions to analyze their potential to improve a prophylactic adenovirus-based anti-retroviral vaccine with regard to antibody and virus-specific CD4(+) T cell responses. Mice were vaccinated with an adenoviral vector which encodes and displays the Friend Virus (FV) surface envelope protein gp70 (Ad.pIXgp70) in combination with adenoviral vectors encoding the interleukins IL4, IL5, IL6, IL7 or IL23. Co-application of Ad.pIXgp70 with Ad.IL5, Ad.IL6 or Ad.IL23 resulted in improved protection with high control over FV-induced splenomegaly and reduced viral loads. Mice co-immunized with adenoviral vectors encoding IL5 or IL23 showed increased neutralizing antibody responses while mice co-immunized with Ad.IL6 or Ad.IL23 showed improved FV-specific CD4(+) T cell responses compared to mice immunized with Ad.pIXgp70 alone. We show that the co-application of adenoviral vectors encoding specific interleukins is suitable to improve the vaccination efficacy of an anti-retroviral vaccine. Improved protection correlated with improved CD4(+) T cell responses and especially with higher neutralizing antibody titers. The co-application of selected interleukin-encoding adenoviral vectors is a valuable tool for vaccination with regard to enhancement of antibody mediated immunity.

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