Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12616492
Eur. J. Immunol. 2003 Mar;33(3):720-8
We report on the induction of primary and long-term memory cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses against the nucleoprotein of the influenza virus A/PR8/34 in mice immunized with plasmid DNA targeted to B lymphocytes in the spleen. We found that the magnitude of the CTL response and the size of the pool of memory CTL was greater when the CTL response was induced in presence of T cell help. Interestingly, immunization with a signal sequence-competent transgene was markedly superior to immunization with a transgene lacking the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) targeting sequence, in inducing CTL. We also found a correlation between in vivo protection from lethal virus challenge and (1) the availability of T cell help and (2) ER targeting. Immunization of dendritic cell-deficient mice suggests that B lymphocytes function as antigen-presenting cells in this model of immunization. Collectively, the results suggest that somatic transgene immunization is a conceptually new approach to induce effective anti-viral CTL responses and to assess the parameters critical for long-lasting and protective CTL responses in vivo.