To develop vaccination strategies against HIV-1 infection aimed to specifically enhance the cell-mediated immunity (CMI), we have engineered vaccinia virus (VV) recombinants expressing HIV-1 Env (rVVenv) and murine IL- 12 (rVVlucIL-12) genes or coexpressing both genes (rVVenvIL-12). In mice inoculated with rVVlucIL-12 there is a rapid clearance of the virus, and this correlates with the induction of high levels of IL-12 and IFN-γ in serum and spleen early after infection. Enzyme-linked immunospot analysis of mice inoculated with rVVlucIL-12, revealed a nearly 2-fold increase in the number of specific anti-VV CD8+ T cells compared with that in mice given control rVV, and the serum Ab response was biased in favor of a Th1 response. An enhancement of about 2-fold in the number of anti-gp160 IFN-γ-secreting CD8+ T cells was observed in mice inoculated with rVVenvIL-12, when a dose of 1 x 107 PFU/mouse was used, but this enhancement was not observed when mice were given 5 x 107 PFU. This variation with virus dosage was confirmed in mice immunized simultaneously with different multiplicities of rVV expressing singly the env or IL-12 genes. The highest specific CMI was obtained in mice coadministered a low dose (2 x 104 PFU) of rVVlucIL-12 and 1 x 107 PFU of rVVenv. Our findings provide evidence for specific enhancement of the CMI to HIV-1 Env by the differential expression of IL-12 and env genes delivered from VV recombinants. This approach can be of wide vaccination interest as a means to improve immune responses to other Ags.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jun 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy