Analysis of immunogenicity and protective effect of a bivalent DNA vaccine expressing interleukin-2 and an outer membrane protein of Treponema pallidum(Gpd)

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Author:
YU Jian(Pathogenic Biology Institute, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China)
ZHAO Fei-jun(Pathogenic Biology Institute, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China)
ZHANG Xiao-hong()
GU Wei-ming()
LIU Shuang-quan()
ZENG Tie-bing(Pathogenic Biology Institute, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China)
ZHANG Yue-jun(Pathogenic Biology Institute, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China)
PEI Rui-qing(Pathogenic Biology Institute, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China)
WU Yi-mou(Pathogenic Biology Institute, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China)
Journal Title:
Chinese Journal of Dermatology
Issue:
Volume 44, Issue 10, 2011
DOI:
10.3760/cma.j.issn.0412-4030.2011.10.002
Key Word:
Treponema pallidum;Vaccine, DNA;Interleukin-2;Glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase

Abstract: Objective To investigate the immune response to and protective effect of a bivalent DNA vaccine expressing interleukin-2(IL-2)and Gpd proteins in New Zealand rabbits.Methods Seventy-two male New Zealand white rabbits were equally and randomly divided into 4 groups to be immunized with recombinant plasmids pcDNA3.1(+)/Gpd-IL-2(pcD/Gpd-IL-2),pcDNA3.1(+)/Gpd(pcD/Gpd),empty plasmid pcDNA3.1(+)(pcD)and phosphate buffered saline(PBS),respectively.Immunization was carried out by intramuscular injection at multiple sites with a 2-week interval for 3 times.On week 10 after the initial immunization,the rabbits were challenged intradermally with T.pallidum(Nichols strain).Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(ELISA)was used to quantify the serum level of anti-Gpd antibodies in the rabbits and the level of IL-2 and interferon(IFN-γ)in the supernatant of Gpd protein-stimulated spleen cells from the rabbits at different time pionts.MTT assay was conducted to detect the proliferation response of spleen cells collected from the rabbits on day 0,14,28,140 and 168 after the challenge.Results Compared with pcD and PBS,both the vaccines pcD/Gpd and pcD/Gpd-IL-2 elicited significantly higher levels of anti-Gpd IgG antibodies in rabbits at different time points during the vaccination and infection period,with the titers peaking at 1 ∶ 1024 and 1∶4096,respectively(both P < 0.01).There were also significant differences in the serum levels of anti-Gpd IgG antibodies between the pcD/Gpd-and pcD/Gpd-IL-2-immunized rabbits at different time points(all P <0.01).The levels of IL-2 in the supematant of spleen cells from pcD/Gpd-and pcD/Gpd-IL-2-immunized rabbits on week 8 after the immunization were 110 ± 12.6 and 167 ± 15.7 μg/L respectively,and those of IFN-γwere 225 ± 17.6 and 447 ± 22.4 μg/L respectively,significantly higher than those in that from the other two groups of rabbits(all P < 0.01).Furthermore,an apparent proliferation response was observed in spleen cells from pcD/Gpd-and pcD/Gpd-IL-2-immunized rabbits with a higher stimulation index compared with pcD-and PBS-immunized rabbits(all P < 0.01).Dark-field microscopic examination of early-stage infected lesions revealed that pcD/Gpd-IL-2-immunized rabbits had a lower detection rate(17.5%)of Tp from lesions,occurrence of ulcerative lesions(15%)and shorter curing time compared with pcD/Gpd-immunized rabbits.Conclusion The recombinant plasmid pcDNA3.1(+)/Gpd-IL-2 could induce protective humoral and cellular immune response more efficiently in rabbits.

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