Adenoviral vectors coated with cationic PEG derivatives for intravaginal vaccination against HIV-1.

PMID 24929620


Mucus layer coating the vaginal epithelium represents a barrier for intravaginally delivered recombined adenoviral (rAd) vectors, but it could be overcome by proper polyethylene glycol (PEG) modification. Here we synthesized two cationic PEG derivatives, amino-(EO)n/(AGE)m-Cyss (APCs). The polymers contained neutral linear PEG (2-5 kDa) to provide a hydrophilic surface and amine pendants to provide positive charge for coating negatively charged rAd by physical adsorption. Given proper molecular composition, the polymer (5k-APC) could coat rAd without causing aggregation, facilitating its mucus penetrating ability and enhancing gene expression both in vitro and in vivo. With HIVgag as the model antigen, the polymer-rAd complexes were administered intravaginally to elicit both systemic and mucosal immune responses. 5k-APC-rAd immunization elicited robust HIVgag-specific cellular responses and also induced higher antigen-specific serum IgG. More importantly, mice immunized with 5k-APC-rAd showed higher level of IgA in vaginal lavage fluid. These findings suggest that 5k-APC-rAd is a promising system for intravaginal immunization against infectious diseases such as HIV within the vaginal tract.