Virologica Sinica

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 167–173 | Cite as

Interleukin-12 as a genetic adjuvant enhances hepatitis C virus NS3 DNA vaccine immunogenicity

  • Malihe Naderi
  • Atefeh Saeedi
  • Abdolvahab Moradi
  • Mishar Kleshadi
  • Mohammad Reza Zolfaghari
  • Ali Gorji
  • Amir GhaemiEmail author
Research Article


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection is a worldwide health problem, and numerous efforts have been invested to develop novel vaccines. An efficient vaccine requires broad immune response induction against viral proteins. To achieve this goal, we constructed a DNA vaccine expressing nonstructural 3 (NS3) gene (pcDNA3.1-HCV-NS3) and assessed the immune response in C57BL/6 mice. In this study, the NS3 gene was amplified with a nested-reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method using sera of HCV-infected patients with genotype 1a. The resulting NS3 gene was subcloned into a pcDNA3.1 eukaryotic expression vector, and gene expression was detected by western blot. The resultant DNA vaccine was co-administered with interleukin-12 (IL-12) as an adjuvant to female C57BL/6 mice. After the final immunizations, lymphocyte proliferation, cytotoxicity, and cytokine levels were assessed to measure immune responses. Our data suggest that co-administration of HCV NS3 DNA vaccine with IL-12 induces production of significant levels of both IL-4 and interferon (IFN)-γ (p<0.05). Cytotoxicity and lymphocyte proliferation responses of vaccinated mice were significantly increased compared to control (p<0.05). Collectively, our results demonstrated that co-administration of HCV NS3 and IL-12 displayed strong immunogenicity in a murine model.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 Interleukin-12 DNA vaccine 


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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malihe Naderi
    • 1
  • Atefeh Saeedi
    • 2
  • Abdolvahab Moradi
    • 3
  • Mishar Kleshadi
    • 3
  • Mohammad Reza Zolfaghari
    • 1
  • Ali Gorji
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Amir Ghaemi
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Qom branchIslamic Azad UniversityQomIran
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Lahijan BranchIslamic Azad UniversityLahijanIran
  3. 3.Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology-GRCGH, Department of MicrobiologyGolestan University of Medical SciencesGorganIran
  4. 4.Shefa Neuroscience Research CentreTehranIran
  5. 5.Institut für Physiologie IWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterRobert-Koch-Strasse MünsterGermany
  6. 6.Klinik und Poliklinik für NeurochirurgieWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany

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