Evaluation of the immune response induced by multiantigenic DNA vaccine encoding SAG1 and ROP2 of Toxoplasma gondii and the adjuvant properties of murine interleukin-12 plasmid in BALB/c mice
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The heavy incidence and severe or lethal damages of toxoplasmosis clearly indicate the need for the development of a more effective vaccine. In the present study, we constructed a multiantigenic DNA vaccine, eukaryotic plasmid pcDNA3.1-SAG1-ROP2, expressing surface protein SAG1 and rhoptry protein ROP2 of Toxoplasma gondii, and examined the expression ability of the DNA vaccine in HeLa cells by Western blot. Afterwards, we investigated the efficacy of pcDNA3.1-SAG1-ROP2 with or without co-administration of a plasmid encoding murine interleukin-12 (pIL-12) as a genetic adjuvant to protect Bagg albino/c mice against toxoplasmosis. After T. gondii RH strain challenge, mice immunized with pcDNA3.1-SAG1-ROP2 displayed significant high survival rates. Moreover, the protection was markedly enhanced by pIL-12 co-administration. The results of lymphocyte proliferation assay, cytokine, and antibody determinations show that mice immunized with pcDNA3.1-SAG1-ROP2 elicited stronger humoral and Th1-type cellular immune responses than those immunized with single-gene plasmids, empty plasmid, or phosphate-buffered saline. Furthermore, co-immunization with IL-12 genes resulted in a dramatic enhancement of these responses. Our study indicates that the introduction of multiantigenic DNA vaccine is more powerful and efficient than single-gene vaccine, and the co-delivery of pIL-12 further enhanced the potency of multiantigenic DNA vaccine.
KeywordsToxoplasmosis Immunize Mouse Splenocyte Proliferation Lymphocyte Proliferation Assay Eukaryotic Expression Plasmid
This study was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 30371257) and by the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry (Grant 2003). We declare that the experiments we performed comply with the current laws of China.
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