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Nature. 1998 Mar 26;392(6674):408-11.

Enhanced responses to a DNA vaccine encoding a fusion antigen that is directed to sites of immune induction.

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Autoimmunity and Transplantation Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Viral infection and vaccination with DNA both induce similar immune responses to encoded antigens that are produced by the host. The availability of antigens in lymphoid organs is important in generating an immune response to viral challenge. Antigen availability may also be important in the response to DNA vaccines, because immune responses are stronger when antigen is secreted from DNA-transfected cells. We directed antigen to lymphoid organs by vaccination with DNA encoding antigen-ligand fusion proteins. The two ligands examined bind to receptors that are present on high endothelial venule cells of lymph nodes or on antigen-presenting cells. Here we show that both the humoral and the cellular immune responses to a model DNA vaccine were enhanced using either antigen-targeting strategy. Moreover, directing antigen to antigen-presenting cells speeded up, and altered the form of, the immune response. Directing antigen to sites of immune-response induction may represent a generic means of tailoring a potent and effective immune response to a DNA vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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