Although DNA vaccines appear to be efficient at inducing strong cellular immune responses, a number of questions remain regarding their ability to induce humoral immunity. The essential components for generating an antibody response include B and T cell recognition of antigen, subsequent activation, clonal expansion of each lymphocyte type and migration of T cells into B cell follicles to provide help, all leading to germinal centre formation and antibody production. We have employed a double adoptive transfer system based on ovalbumin (OVA)-specific CD4+ DO11.10 T cells and hen egg lysozyme (HEL)-specific MD4 B cells to assess all of these parameters in the context of DNA vaccination in vivo. We find that vaccination with DNA constructs expressing an OVA-HEL gene fusion (encoding contiguous T and B cell epitopes) can induce T cell activation, clonal expansion and migration into B cell follicles accompanied by B cell activation, blastogenesis, expansion and antibody production. These findings show that DNA vaccination can induce all of the components required for humoral immunity and also provide a system for in depth analysis of factors that influence the development of antibody responses. Such strategies may facilitate the rational design of vaccines capable of inducing effective humoral immunity.
- Antibody Formation
- CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology
- Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
- Fluorescent Antibody Technique
- Mice, Inbred BALB C
- Vaccines, DNA/immunology