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Vaccine. 2010 Oct 21;28(45):7297-305. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.08.079. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

DNA vaccine with α-galactosylceramide at prime phase enhances anti-tumor immunity after boosting with antigen-expressing dendritic cells.

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Department of Anatomy, Chung-Ang University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


DNA vaccines contribute to a promising new approach for the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). DNA vaccines do have several disadvantages, including poor immunogenicity and oncogene expression. We used the natural killer T-cell (NKT) ligand α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) as an adjuvant to prime initial DNA vaccination; and used the potent immune-stimulatory tumor antigen-expressing dendritic cells (DCs) as a booster vaccination. A DNA vaccine expressing human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 E7 (pcDNA3-CRT/E7) was combined with α-GalCer at the prime phase, and generated a higher number of E7-specific CD8(+) T-cells in vaccinated mice than vaccine used at boost phase. Therefore, priming with a DNA vaccine in the presence of α-GalCer and boosting with E7-pulsed DC-1 led to a significant enhancement of E7-specific CD8(+) effector and memory T-cells as well as significantly improved therapeutic and preventive effects against an E7-expressing tumor model (TC-1) in vaccinated mice. Our findings suggested that the potency of a DNA vaccine combined with α-GalCer could be further enhanced by boosting with an antigen-expressing DC-based vaccine to generate anti-tumor immunity.

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