DEC205/CD205, an endocytic receptor of C-type multilectin, is expressed highly in dendritic cells (DCs). DEC205 was shown to efficiently deliver vaccine antigens in surrogate ligands to the antigen processing and presentation machinery of DCs, which resulted in the development of DC-targeted vaccines employing anti-DC monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). During our studies to characterize a variety of anti-DC mAbs including anti-DEC205 by flow cytometric analysis, we discovered that a secondary anti-immunoglobulin antibody conjugated with PE-Cy5.5 bound strongly to the cells expressing mouse DEC205 (mDEC205) without incubation of a primary anti-mDEC205 mAb. In the present study we demonstrate that various antibodies and streptavidin conjugated with PE-Cy5.5 bind to the mDEC205-expressing cells including CHO, KIT6, and HEK293 cells. The interaction between the PE-Cy5.5 conjugates and the cells expressing mDEC205 appears distinctive, since none of PE-Cy5.5 conjugates bind to the cells that express human DEC205 on surface. Besides, only PE-Cy5.5 conjugates bind strongly to mDEC205-expressing cells; PerCP-Cy5.5, APC-Cy5.5, and Cy5.5 conjugates bind weakly; PE, PE-Cy5, Cy5, FITC, or Alexa488 conjugates do not bind. Therefore the use of PE-Cy5.5 conjugates, widely utilized in multicolor flow cytometry, requires precaution against nonspecific binding to mDEC205-positive cells.
CD205; DEC205; PE-Cy5.5; Nonspecific binding; Dendritic Cells
It is of great interest to develop a pneumonic plague vaccine that would induce combined humoral and cellular immunity in the lung. Here we investigate a novel approach based on targeting of dendritic cells using the DEC-205/CD205 receptor (DEC) via the intranasal route as way to improve mucosal cellular immunity to the vaccine. Intranasal administration of Y. pestis LcrV (V) protein fused to anti-DEC antibody together with poly IC as an adjuvant induced high frequencies of IFN-γ secreting CD4+ T cells in the airway and lung as well as pulmonary IgG and IgA antibodies. Anti-DEC:LcrV was more efficient to induce IFN-γ/TNF-α/IL-2 secreting polyfunctional CD4+ T cells when compared to non-targeted soluble protein vaccine. In addition, the intranasal route of immunization with anti-DEC:LcrV was associated with improved survival upon pulmonary challenge with the virulent CO92 Y. pestis. Taken together, these data indicate that targeting dendritic cells via the mucosal route is a potential new avenue for the development of a mucosal vaccine against pneumonic plague.
Dendritic cells; CD205/DEC-205; Y. pestis; LcrV; Cellular immunity; Mucosal
DEC205/CD205 is a C-type multilectin receptor, expressed highly in dendritic cells (DCs). Previous efforts to generate anti-human DEC205 (anti-hDEC205) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from mice immunized with subdomain proteins of hDEC205 resulted in a few mAbs. Recently, we expressed and utilized a full-length extracellular domain protein of hDEC205 to successfully generate 5 strong anti-hDEC205 mAbs from mice. In this study, DEC205 knockout (KO) mice were immunized with this full-length extracellular domain protein of hDEC205. One of the 3 immunized DEC205 KO mice was chosen for the highest anti-hDEC205 titer by flow cytometric analysis of serum samples on CHO cells stably expressing hDEC205 (CHO/hDEC205 cells) and used for hybridoma fusion. From a single fusion, more than 400 anti-hDEC205 hybridomas were identified by flow cytometric screen with CHO/hDEC205 cells, and a total of 115 hybridomas secreting strong anti-hDEC205 mAb were saved and named HD1 through HD115. To characterize in detail, 10 HD mAbs were chosen for superior anti-hDEC205 reactivity and further subjected to cloning and purification. Interestingly, out of those 10 chosen anti-hDEC205 HD mAbs, 5 mAbs were also strongly reactive to mouse DEC205 while 8 mAbs were found to stain DEC205+ DCs on monkey spleen sections. In addition, we also identified that HD83, one of the 10 chosen HD mAbs, stains DEC205+ DCs in rat spleen and lymph node. Therefore, by immunizing DEC205 KO mice with a full-length extracellular domain protein of hDEC205, we generated a large number of strong anti-hDEC205 mAbs many of which are cross-species reactive and able to visualize DEC205+ DCs in lymphoid tissues of other mammals.
Monoclonal Antibody; Conserved Epitope; CD205; DEC205; Dendritic Cells
The carbohydrate-recognition domain of the SIGN-R1 receptor from M. musculus has been crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. A native data set has been collected to 1.87 Å resolution.
SIGN-R1, or CD209b, is a mouse C-type lectin receptor that is expressed at high levels on macrophages in lymphoid tissues, especially within the marginal zone of the spleen. SIGN-R1 can bind and mediate the uptake of various microbial polysaccharides, including dextrans, lipopolysaccharides and pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides. It has been shown that SIGN-R1 mediates the clearance of encapsulated pneumococcus, complement fixation via binding C1q independent of antibody and innate resistance to pneumococcal infection. Recently, SIGN-R1 has also been demonstrated to bind sialylated antibody and mediate its activity to suppress autoimmunity. The carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD) of SIGN-R1 has been cloned and overexpressed in a soluble secretory form in mammalian Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The CRD protein of SIGN-R1 was purified from CHO cell-culture supernatant and concentrated for crystallization using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method at 291 K. Crystals grew from a mixture of 2 M ammonium sulfate in 0.1 M bis-tris pH 5.5. Single crystals, which belonged to the monoclinic space group C2 with unit-cell parameters a = 146.72, b = 92.77, c = 77.06 Å, β = 121.66°, allowed the collection of a full X-ray data set to a maximum resolution of 1.87 Å.
SIGN-R1; carbohydrate-recognition domains; C-type lectin receptors
Dendritic cells (DCs), critical antigen presenting cells for immune control, normally derive from bone marrow precursors distinct from monocytes. It is not yet established if the large reservoir of monocytes can develop into cells with critical features of DCs in vivo. We now show that fully differentiated Mo-DCs develop in mice and DC-SIGN/CD209a marks the cells. Mo-DCs are recruited from blood monocytes into lymph nodes by lipopolysaccharide and live or dead gram negative bacteria. Mobilization requires TLR4 and its CD14 coreceptor and Trif. When tested for antigen presenting function, Mo-DCs are as active as classical DCs, including cross presentation of proteins and live gram negative bacteria on MHC I in vivo. Fully differentiated Mo-DCs acquire DC morphology and localize to T cell areas via L-selectin and CCR7. Thus the blood monocyte reservoir becomes the dominant presenting cell in response to select microbes, yielding DC-SIGN+ cells with critical functions of DCs.
Mouse DC-SIGN CD209a is a type II transmembrane protein, one of a family of C-type lectin genes syntenic and homologous to human DC-SIGN. Current anti-mouse DC-SIGN monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are unable to react with DC-SIGN in acetone fixed cells, limiting the chance to visualize DC-SIGN in tissue sections. We first produced rabbit polyclonal PAb-DSCYT14 against a 14-aa peptide in the cytosolic domain of mouse DC-SIGN, and it specifically detected DC-SIGN and not the related lectins, SIGN-R1 and SIGN-R3 expressed in transfected CHO cells. MAbs were generated by immunizing rats and DC-SIGN knockout mice with the extracellular region of mouse DC-SIGN.. Five rat IgG2a or IgM MAbs, named BMD10, 11, 24, 25, and 30, were selected and each MAb specifically detected DC-SIGN by FACS and Western blots, although BMD25 was cross-reactive to SIGN-R1. Two mouse IgG2c MAbs MMD2 and MMD3 interestingly bound mouse DC-SIGN but at 10 fold higher levels than the rat MAbs. When the binding epitopes of the new BMD and two other commercial rat anti-DC-SIGN MAbs, 5H10 and LWC06, were examined by competition assays, the epitopes of BMD11, 24, and LWC06 were identical or closely overlapping while BMD10, 30, and 5H10 were shown to bind different epitopes. MMD2 and MMD3 epitopes were on a 3rd noncompeting region of mouse DC-SIGN. DC-SIGN expressed on the cell surface was sensitive to collagenase treatment, as monitored by polyclonal and MAb. These new reagents should be helpful to probe the biology of DC-SIGN in vivo.
Monoclonal Antibody; Polyclonal Antibody; DC-SIGN; CD209a; Dendritic Cells
Antigen-presenting cells can capture antigens that are deposited in the skin, including vaccines given subcutaneously. These include different dendritic cells (DC) such as epidermal Langerhans cells (LC), dermal DC and dermal langerin+ DC.
To evaluate access of dermal antigens to skin DC, we used mAb to two C-type lectin endocytic receptors, DEC-205/CD205 and langerin/CD207. When applied to murine and human skin explant cultures, these mAb were efficiently taken up by epidermal LC. Additionally, anti-DEC-205 targeted langerin+ CD103+ and langerin− CD103− mouse dermal DC. Unexpectedly, intradermal injection of either mAb, but not isotype control, resulted in strong and rapid labelling of LC in situ, implying that large molecules can diffuse through the basement membrane into the epidermis. Epidermal LC targeted in vivo by ovalbumin-coupled anti-DEC-205 potently presented antigen to CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Thus, epidermal LC play a major role in uptake of lectin-binding ligands under standard vaccination conditions.
Skin; Dendritic Cells; Langerhans Cells; Langerin; Vaccination
Recent work reveals that the innate immune system is able to recognize self targets and initiate an inflammatory response similar to that of pathogens. One novel example of this innate autoimmunity is ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, in which reperfusion of the ischemic tissues elicits an acute inflammatory response activated by natural IgM (nIgM) binding to ischemia-specific self antigens, which are non-muscle myosin heavy chains type II (NMHC-II) subtype A and C. Subsequently, the complement lectin pathway is activated and eventually tissue injury occurs. Although earlier studies in the intestinal model showed that the classical complement pathway did not initiate I/R injury, C1q deposition was still observed in the local injured tissues by imaging analysis. Moreover, the involvement of the alternative complement pathway became unclear due to conflicting reports using different knockout mice. To explore the immediate downstream pathway following nIgM-ischemic antigen interaction, we isolated the nIgM-ischemic antigen immunocomplexes from the local tissue of animals treated in the intestinal I/R injury model, and examined the presence of initial molecules of three complement pathways. Our results showed that mannan-binding lectin (MBL), the early molecule of the lectin pathway, was present in the nIgM-ischemic Ag immunocomplex. In addition, C1q, the initial molecule of the classical pathway was also detected on the immunocomplex. However, Factor B, the early molecule in the alternative pathway, was not detected in the immunocomplex. To further examine the role of the alternative pathway in I/R injury, we utilized Factor B knockout mice in the intestinal model. Our results showed that Factor B knockout mice were not protected from local tissue injury, and their complement system was activated in the local tissues by nIgM during I/R. These results indicated that the lectin complement pathway operates immediately downstream of the nIgM-ischemic antigen interaction during intestinal I/R. Furthermore, the classical complement pathway also appears to interact with the of nIgM-ischemic antigen immunocomplex. Finally, the alternative complement pathway is not involved in I/R injury induction in the current intestinal model.
Dendritic cells present exogenous proteins to MHC class I restricted CD8+ T cells. This function does not require endogenous antigen synthesis within DC, providing the potential to elicit CD8+ T cell responses to immune complexes, inactivated microbes, dying cells and proteins like ovalbumin. In mice, the CD8+ or DEC-205+ DC are specialized for cross-presentation, and this subset can be increased 10 fold in numbers following Flt3L treatment in vivo. Therefore we studied cross-presentation by abundant Flt3L DC using HIV gag protein. When enriched by positive selection with anti-CD11c beads, cells from Flt3L mice are not only more abundant but are more highly enriched in CD11c high DC, particularly the DEC-205+ subset. DC cross-present HIV gag to primed CD8+ T cells, but when the antigen is delivered within an antibody to DEC-205 receptor, cross-presentation becomes 100 fold more efficient than non-targeted antigen. This finding requires gag to be engineered into anti-DEC antibody, not just mixed with antibody. Flt3L DC are a valuable tool to study cross-presentation, since their use overcomes the obstacle posed by the low number of cross-presenting DC in the steady state. These findings support future experiments to use Flt3L to enhance presentation of DC-targeted vaccines.
DC; Flt3L; poly IC
Secretory IgA (SIgA), the predominant class of antibody in intestinal secretions, serves as the first line of defense against enteric infections. SIgA has also been proposed to function in immune surveillance, given that both SIgA and SIgA-antigen complexes are actively transported by Peyer’s patch M cells from the intestinal lumen to sub-epithelial dendritic cells (DCs). The goal of the present study was to identify the receptor(s) potentially utilized by mucosal DCs to recognize and internalize SIgA. We demonstrate that human colostral SIgA is recognized by purified recombinant human DC-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) in a solid phase binding assay, as well as by DC-SIGN ectopically expressed on the surface of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-S) cells. The interaction between SIgA and DC-SIGN was specific, given that it was Ca2+-dependent and inhibited by mannan. Moreover, SIgA bound to, and was internalized by, endogenous DC-SIGN expressed on THP-1 cells following monocyte to macrophage-like cell differentiation by stimulation with phorbol ester and interleukin-4. These data identify DC-SIGN as a putative receptor for SIgA, and reveal a mechanism by which DCs could collaborate with M cells in immune surveillance at mucosal surfaces.
Dendritic cells; Secretory IgA; M cells
Previously, we prepared monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) by immunizing rats with the recombinant fusion proteins of mouse Langerin/CD207, which contained a flexible linker sequence from E. coli OmpF and a FLAG epitope. We found many of new rat mAbs were not reactive to mouse Langerin, and here we identify the epitopes of two of these IgG mAbs, L2 and L5, and assess their efficacy in various immunodetection methods. MAb L5 is a rat IgG mAb against the FLAG epitope, which detected both N-terminal and C-terminal FLAG tagged protein 2 to 8 times better than the conventional anti-FLAG mAb M2 by Western blot. For mAb L2, we found its epitope to be a 14 amino acid sequence SGFANELGPRLMGK which consisted of both sequences from the OmpF derived linker and mouse Langerin. This epitope sequence was named OLLAS (E. coli OmpF Linker and mouse Langerin fusion Sequence), and mAb L2 as mAb OLLA-2. When the OLLAS sequence was inserted into recombinant proteins at N-terminal, C-terminal, or internal sites, the OLLAS tag was detected by mAb OLLA-2 with very high sensitivity compared to other conventional epitope tags and anti-tag mAbs. MAb OLLA-2 recognized OLLAS tagged proteins with at least 100-fold more sensitivity than anti-FLAG M2 and anti-V5 mAbs in Western blot analyses. We also find the OLLAS epitope to be superior in immunoprecipitation and other immunodetection methods, such as fluorescent immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. In the process, we successfully utilized the OLLAS epitope sequence as an internal linker for fusion between the engineered mAb and the antigen, and thus achieved improved immunodetection.
Monoclonal Antibody; Protein Tagging; FLAG Tag; OLLAS Tag
There is a need for a more efficient vaccine against the bacterium Y. pestis, the agent of pneumonic plague. The F1-LcrV subunit vaccine in alhydrogel is known to induce humoral immunity. In this study, we utilized dendritic cells to investigate cellular immunity. We genetically engineered the LcrV virulence protein into the αDEC-205/CD205 monoclonal antibody and thereby targeted the conjugated protein directly to mouse DEC-205+ DCs in situ. We observed antigen-specific CD4+ T cell immunity measured by intracellular staining for interferon-γ in three different mouse strains (C57BL/6, BALB/c, and C3H/HeJ), while we could not observe such T cell responses with F1-V vaccine in alhydrogel. Using a peptide library for LcrV protein, we identified two or more distinct CD4+ T cell mimetopes in each MHC haplotype, consistent with the induction of broad immunity. When compared to nontargeted standard protein vaccine, DC targeting greatly increased the efficiency for inducing IFN-γ producing T cells. The targeted LcrV protein induced antibody responses to a similar extent as the F1-V subunit vaccine, but Th1-dependent IgG2a and IgG2c isotypes were observed only after αDEC-205:LcrV mAb immunization. This study sets the stage for the analysis of functional roles of IFN-γ producing T cells in Y. pestis infection.
Dendritic cells; CD 205/DEC-205; Y. pestis; LcrV; Cellular immunity
The fate of microbial polysaccharides in host tissues is an important consideration because these compounds are often immune modulators. Splenic marginal zone macrophages that express the C-type lectin receptor SIGN-R1, take up neutral polysaccharides such as dextran and the capsular polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Given that the major component of Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide, glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), localizes in the spleen when injected intravenously, we investigated whether GXM uptake was mediated by splenic macrophages expressing the SIGN-R1 receptor in mice. No significant differences in the amount and location of GXM deposition were detected in the spleens of mice treated with a SIGN-R1 blocking antibody when compared to controls. Similarly, a blocking antibody to Dectin-1, a co-receptor of -SIGN-R1, had no effects on GXM distribution within the spleen. Histological examination of spleens from mice and rats injected with FITC-Dextran and GXM revealed no significant co-localization, with Dextran and GXM being found in marginal and red pulp macrophages, respectively. Hence we conclude that GXM was not deposited in marginal zone macrophages. However, GXM deposition was found in the red pulp. These results indicate that there is a selective localization of these polysaccharides to different receptors such as SIGN-R1 for FITC dextran in marginal zone and a to-be-identified receptor selectively expressed by red pulp macrophages for GXM.
SIGN-R1; Marginal Zone Macrophages; Red Pulp; Cryptococcus neoformans; GXM
Presumptive dendritic cells (DCs) bearing the CD11c integrin and other markers have previously been identified in normal mouse and human aorta. We used CD11c promoter–enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) transgenic mice to visualize aortic DCs and study their antigen-presenting capacity. Stellate EYFP+ cells were readily identified in the aorta and could be double labeled with antibodies to CD11c and antigen-presenting major histocompatability complex (MHC) II products. The DCs proved to be particularly abundant in the cardiac valves and aortic sinus. In all aortic locations, the CD11c+ cells localized to the subintimal space with occasional processes probing the vascular lumen. Aortic DCs expressed little CD40 but expressed low levels of CD1d, CD80, and CD86. In studies of antigen presentation, DCs selected on the basis of EYFP expression or binding of anti-CD11c antibody were as effective as DCs similarly selected from the spleen. In particular, the aortic DCs could cross-present two different protein antigens on MHC class I to CD8+ TCR transgenic T cells. In addition, after intravenous injection, aortic DCs could capture anti-CD11c antibody and cross-present ovalbumin to T cells. These results indicate that bona fide DCs are a constituent of the normal aorta and cardiac valves.
Langerin CD207 is a type II transmembrane protein. It is responsible for the formation of Birbeck granules, which are intracellular organelles within Langerhans cells, the dendritic cells of stratified squamous epithelia like the epidermis. Because current anti-CD207 antibodies have limitations, we prepared new monoclonals by immunizing rats with the extracellular region of mouse Langerin followed by a boost with enriched Langerhans cells (LCs). We secured a large panel of mAbs, most of which reacted with the carboxy terminal carbohydrate recognition domain. These mAbs could be used to immunoblot and immunoprecipitate mouse Langerin and to stain the cell surface and intracellular pools of CD207 by FACS analysis. Labeling of Birbeck granules was also achieved by immunoelectron microscopy. Anti-CD207 identified LCs in the epidermis and skin draining lymph nodes of BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, but BALB/c mice had an additional Langerin+ population in spleen, thymus and mesenteric lymph node. This additional subset had higher levels of CD8 and CD205 than epidermal LCs, and also had a less mature phenotype, i.e., lower MHC II, CD40 and CD86. Subcutaneous injection of IgG but not IgM forms of these new anti-CD207 mAbs led to rapid and selective labeling of the Langerin+ cells in skin draining lymph nodes as well as spleen. The new IgG anti-CD207 mAbs should be useful for further research on LCs and dendritic cells including an evaluation of the consequences of antigen delivery within anti-CD207 mAbs in vivo.
Monoclonal Antibody; Langerhans Cells; Langerin; CD207; Dendritic Cells
DNA vaccines promote an immune response by providing antigen-encoding DNA to the recipient, but the efficacy of such vaccines needs improving. Many approaches have considerable potential but currently induce relatively weak immune responses despite multiple high doses of DNA vaccine. Here, we asked whether targeting vaccine antigens to DCs would increase the immunity and protection that result from DNA vaccines. To determine this, we generated a DNA vaccine encoding a fusion protein comprised of the vaccine antigen and a single-chain Fv antibody (scFv) specific for the DC-restricted antigen-uptake receptor DEC205. Following vaccination of mice, the vaccine antigen was expressed selectively by DCs, which were required for the increased efficacy of MHC class I and MHC class II antigen presentation relative to a control scFv DNA vaccine. In addition, a DNA vaccine encoding an HIV gag p41–scFv DEC205 fusion protein induced 10-fold higher antibody levels and increased numbers of IFN-γ–producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. After a single i.m. injection of the DNA vaccine encoding an HIV gag p41–scFv DEC205 fusion protein, mice were protected from an airway challenge with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the HIV gag p41, even with 1% of the dose of nontargeted DNA vaccine. The efficacy of DNA vaccines therefore may be enhanced by inclusion of sequences such as single-chain antibodies to target the antigen to DCs.
The C-type lectin dendritic cell-specific ICAM 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN)/CD209 efficiently binds several pathogens, including HIV-1. DC-SIGN is expressed on monocyte-derived DCs in culture, and importantly, it is able to sequester HIV-1 within cells and facilitate transmission of virus to CD4+ T cells. To investigate DC-SIGN function, we have generated new mAbs. We report in this study that these and prior anti-DC-SIGN mAbs primarily label macrophages in the medullary sinuses of noninflamed human lymph node. In contrast, expression is not detected on most DCs in the T cell area, except for occasional cells. We also noted that IL-4 alone can induce expression of DC-SIGN in CD14+ monocytes and circulating blood DCs. However, blockade of DC-SIGN with Abs and DC-SIGN small interfering RNA did not result in a major reduction in the capacity of these DCs to transfer HIV to T cells, confirming significant DC-SIGN-independent mechanisms. The blocking approaches did reduce HIV-1 transmission by DC-SIGN-transfected cells by >90%. DC-SIGN blockade also did not reduce the ability of DCs to stimulate T cell proliferation in the MLR. These results indicate that DC-SIGN has the potential to contribute to macrophage function in normal human lymph node, and that DCs do not require DC-SIGN to transmit HIV or to initiate T cell responses.
SIGNR1, a member of a new family of mouse C-type lectins, is expressed at high levels in macrophages (Mφ) within the splenic marginal zone, lymph node medulla, and in some strains, in peritoneal cavity. We previously reported that SIGNR1 captures gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, as well as Candida albicans. We have now investigated the precise ligands and innate responses that involve SIGNR1. The interaction of SIGNR1 with FITC–dextran and E. coli was completely inhibited by LPS from E. coli and Salmonella minnesota. Using LPS from various types of rough mutants of Salmonella, we found that SIGNR1 primarily recognizes oligosaccharides in the non-reductive end of the LPS core region. In transfectants, expression of SIGNR1 enhanced the oligomerization of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 molecules as well as the degradation of IκB-α after stimulation with E. coli under low-serum conditions. The enhanced TLR4 oligomerization was inhibited by pre-treatment of the cells with anti-SIGNR1 mAb or with mannan. A physical association between SIGNR1 and the TLR4–MD-2 complex was also observed by immunoprecipitation. Finally, we found that transfection of SIGNR1 into the macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells resulted in significant augmentation of cytokine production. These results suggest that SIGNR1 associates with TLR4 to capture gram-negative bacteria and facilitate signal transduction to activate innate Mφ responses.
gram-negative bacteria; lectin; LPSs; macrophages; CPS capsular pneumococcal polysaccharide; DC dendritic cell; DC-SIGN dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin binding receptor; HEK human embryonic kidney; hDC-SIGN human DC-SIGN; KDO 2-keto-3-deoxy octonate; LBP LPS-binding protein; Mφ macrophages; MR mannose receptor; PP proteose peptone; SP-A surfactant protein-A; TGC thioglycollate; TLR Toll-like receptor; TNF tumor necrosis factor
Current human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine approaches emphasize prime boost strategies comprising multiple doses of DNA vaccine and recombinant viral vectors. We are developing a protein-based approach that directly harnesses principles for generating T cell immunity. Vaccine is delivered to maturing dendritic cells in lymphoid tissue by engineering protein antigen into an antibody to DEC-205, a receptor for antigen presentation. Here we characterize the CD4+ T cell immune response to HIV gag and compare efficacy with other vaccine strategies in a single dose. DEC-205–targeted HIV gag p24 or p41 induces stronger CD4+ T cell immunity relative to high doses of gag protein, HIV gag plasmid DNA, or recombinant adenovirus-gag. High frequencies of interferon (IFN)-γ– and interleukin 2–producing CD4+ T cells are elicited, including double cytokine-producing cells. In addition, the response is broad because the primed mice respond to an array of peptides in different major histocompatibility complex haplotypes. Long-lived T cell memory is observed. After subcutaneous vaccination, CD4+ and IFN-γ–dependent protection develops to a challenge with recombinant vaccinia-gag virus at a mucosal surface, the airway. We suggest that a DEC-targeted vaccine, in part because of an unusually strong and protective CD4+ T cell response, will improve vaccine efficacy as a stand-alone approach or with other modalities.