It has been reported that co-delivery of IL-12 DNA with a DNA vaccine further enhances antigen (Ag)-specific protective immunity in pathogenic challenge models. However, the enhancing effects of antibody by IL-12 have been controversial. To clarify this issue, we constructed an IL-12 expression vector, co-immunized IL-12 DNA with an encephalomycocarditis virus (EMCV)-D VP1 plasmid vaccine, and then evaluated immune modulatory effects and protection against lethal EMCV-K challenge. We observed that VP1-specific IgG production, as well as seroconversion rates, were significantly enhanced by IL-12 co-injection, indicating that IL-12 can enhance antibody responses in this model system. In particular, co-injection with VP1 plus IL-12 DNA into the same leg enhanced systemic Ag-specific IgG production to a significantly greater extent than either the separate leg injection of VP1 and IL-12 DNA or VP1 DNA vaccine alone. This suggests that local co-expression of IL-12 along with antigens is more important for enhanced antibody production. Furthermore, IgG2a isotype was significantly enhanced by IL-12 DNA co-injection, indicating a Th1 bias. In addition, co-delivery of IL-12 DNA was demonstrated to enhance VP1-specific Th cell proliferative responses. When animals were challenged with a lethal dose of EMCV-K, IL-12 DNA-co-immunized animals exhibited enhanced survival, as compared to VP1 DNA vaccine alone. These studies suggest that IL-12 plays an important role in increasing Ag-specific Th1 type antibody and cellular responses, resulting in enhanced protection against lethal EMCV-K challenge.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We wish to thank Drs S. W. Lee and A. H. Lee for helpful discussion. We also thank S. C. Lee and G. H. Nam for their technical assistance. This work was supported by G7 grant G-04-02-21 from Korean Ministry of Science and Technology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases