DNA vaccine and dendritic cells (DCs)-based vaccine have emerged as promising strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3-ligand (Flt3L) and granulocyte-macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) have been exploited for the expansion of DC. It was reported previously that combination of plasmid encoding GM-CSF with HER2/neu DNA vaccine induced predominantly CD4+ T-cell-mediated antitumor immune response. In this study, we investigated the modulation of immune responses by murine Flt3L and GM-CSF, which acted as genetic adjuvants in the forms of bicistronic (pFLAG) and monocistronic (pFL and pGM) plasmids for HER2/neu DNA vaccine (pN-neu). Coexpression of Flt3L and GM-CSF significantly enhanced maturation and antigen-presentation abilities of splenic DC. Increased numbers of infiltrating DC at the immunization site, higher interferon-γ production, and enhanced cytolytic activities by splenocytes were prominent in mice vaccinated with pN-neu in conjunction with pFLAG. Importantly, a potent CD8+ T-cell-mediated antitumor immunity against bladder tumors naturally overexpressing HER2/neu was induced in the vaccinated mice. Collectively, our results indicate that murine Flt3L and GM-CSF genes coexpressed by a bicistronic plasmid modulate the class of immune responses and may be superior to those codelivered by two separate monocistronic plasmids as the genetic adjuvants for HER2/neu DNA vaccine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research