Veterinary immunology and immunopathology vol:103 issue:1-2 pages:141-151
date:State Univ Ghent, Fac Vet Med, Lab Vet Immunol, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium; Katholieke Univ Leuven, Lab Fysiol & Immunol Domest Anim, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium
With the development of DNA vaccines in pigs, the possibility was investigated that the nature and the amount of certain CpG-motifs present on plasmid DNA might have an effect on their immunostimulatory capacity. A panel of three CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) and three eukaryotic expression vectors currently used in experimental DNA vaccines in pigs (pcDNA1, pcDNA3.1 and pCI) were screened for their immunostimulatory activity on porcine PBMC by evaluating in vitro the lymphocyte proliferative responses and cytokine profiles (1L-1alpha, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-gamma, TGF-beta, TNF-alpha). The vectors were chosen so that they differed in number and nature of certain CpG-motifs present on their backbone. CpG-ODN A (5'ATCGAT3') and to a lesser extend CpG-ODN C (5AACGTT3') significantly enhanced the proliferation of porcine PBMC in contrast to CpG-ODN B (5'GACGTT3') where no effect was observed. Furthermore, CpG-ODN A significantly induced IL-6 and TNF-alpha together with elevated levels of IFN-gamma and IL-2 mRNA expression even though considerable heterogeneity was observed in the response of individual pigs. Comparison of the three vectors showed significantly increased proliferative responses for both pcDNA3.1 and pCI combined with a significant increase in IL-6 mRNA levels for pCI. For pcDNA1, proliferation was absent together with significantly decreased levels of IL-6 and IFN-gamma. CpG-ODN and plasmids both suppressed the TGF-beta and IL-1alpha mRNA expression. Taken together, these data confirm the identity of an optimal immunostimulating CpG-motif in pigs (5'-ggTGCATCGATGCAG-3') and demonstrates that the choice of the vector or the insertion of immunostimulatory motifs can be important in the future design of DNA vaccines in pigs, although further research is necessary to explore the possible link between certain CpG-motifs and the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.