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DNA vaccination using coexpression of cytokine genes with a bacterial gene encoding a 60-kDa heat shock protein

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Abstract

Coexpression of cytokine genes together with antigen-encoding genes in DNA vaccination vectors can increase humoral and cellular immune responses and may steer them in a Th1 or Th2 direction. In this study, the modulatory effect of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and interferon (IFN)-γ coexpressed with the 60-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp60) of Yersinia enterocolitica O:8 (Y-Hsp60) was studied. DNA vaccination with y-hsp60 evoked specific humoral and cellular immune responses as well as reduction of the splenic bacterial load upon challenge with Y. enterocolitica in a mouse infection model. Coexpression of IL-2 or IFN-γ enhanced Y. enterocolitica-specific total IgG (P < 0.05) and IgG2a antibody responses. Coexpression of IFN-γ also improved the proliferative T cell responses upon stimulation with Y-Hsp60. A reduction of the splenic bacterial load as compared with the plasmid encoding Y-Hsp60 only was found for the IFN-γ coexpressing vector. Thus, coexpression of cytokine genes such as IFN-γ in DNA vaccination vectors might improve immunity and help to overcome the side effects of standard adjuvants.

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Received: 15 May 2000

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Hornef, M., Noll, A., Schirmbeck, R. et al. DNA vaccination using coexpression of cytokine genes with a bacterial gene encoding a 60-kDa heat shock protein. Med Microbiol Immunol 189, 97–104 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004300000047

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  • Key words DNA vaccination
  • Bacterial heat shock protein
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-γ