Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 187–196 | Cite as

Co-expression of the Bcl-xL antiapoptotic protein enhances the induction of Th1-like immune responses in mice immunized with DNA vaccines encoding FMDV B and T cell epitopes

  • Sultan Gülçe İzEmail author
  • Mert Döşkaya
  • Belen Borrego
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Yüksel Gürüz
  • İsmet Deliloğlu Gürhan
Original Article


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most devastating animal diseases, affecting all cloven-hoofed domestic and wild animal species. Previous studies from our group using DNA vaccines encoding FMD virus (FMDV) B and T cell epitopes targeted to antigen presenting cells, allowed demonstrating total protection from FMDV homologous challenge in those animals efficiently primed for both humoral and cellular specific responses (Borrego et al. Antivir Res 92:359-363, 2011). In this study, a new DNA vaccine prototype expected to induce stronger and cross-reactive immune responses against FMDV which was designed by making two main modifications: i) adding a new B-cell epitope from the O-serotype to the B and T-cell epitopes from the C-serotype and ii) using a dual promoter plasmid that allowed inserting a new cistron encoding the anti-apoptotic Bcl-xL gene under the control of the internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) of encephalomyocarditis virus aiming to increase and optimize the antigen presentation of the encoded FMDV epitopes after in vivo immunization. In vitro studies showed that Bcl-xL significantly prolonged the survival of DNA transfected cells (p < 0.001). Accordingly, vaccination of Swiss out-bred mice with the dual promoter plasmid increased the total IgG responses induced against each of the FMDV epitopes however no significant differences observed between groups. The humoral immune response was polarized through IgG2a in all vaccination groups (p < 0.05); except peptide T3A; in correspondence with the Th1-like response observed, a clear bias towards the induction of specific IFN-γ secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses was also observed, being significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the group of mice immunized with the plasmid co-expressing Bcl-xL and the FMDV B and T cell epitopes.


FMDV B and T cell epitopes Bcl-xL anti-apoptotic protein Humoral immune responses Cellular immune responses 



This project is partly funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (110O809), Ege University, Science and Technology Center (2011BIL020) and a complementary action between Spain and Turkey (PCI2005-A7-0092). The authors acknowledge EP Martin, Ph.D. and JM Marques, Ph.D. for their technical help. The specific MAbs against FMDV were kindly provided by Emilliana Brocchi, Ph.D., from Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia, Italy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sultan Gülçe İz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mert Döşkaya
    • 2
  • Belen Borrego
    • 3
  • Fernando Rodriguez
    • 4
  • Yüksel Gürüz
    • 2
  • İsmet Deliloğlu Gürhan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringEge University Faculty of EngineeringBornovaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of ParasitologyEge University Medical SchoolBornovaTurkey
  3. 3.Centro de Investigacion en Sanidad Animal, CISA-INIAMadridSpain
  4. 4.Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), UAB-IRTABarcelonaSpain

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