Molecular medicine reports

Immune-enhancing effect of nano-DNA vaccine encoding a gene of the prME protein of Japanese encephalitis virus and BALB/c mouse granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.

PMID 25738258


Plasmid-encoded granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM‑CSF) is an adjuvant for genetic vaccines; however, how GM-CSF enhances immunogenicity remains to be elucidated. In the present study, it was demonstrated that injection of a plasmid encoding the premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) protein of Japanese encephalitis virus and mouse GM-CSF (pJME/GM-CSF) into mouse muscle recruited large and multifocal conglomerates of macrophages and granulocytes, predominantly neutrophils. During the peak of the infiltration, an appreciable number of immature dendritic cells (DCs) appeared, although no T and B-cells was detected. pJME/GM-CSF increased the number of splenic DCs and the expression of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) on splenic DC, and enhanced the antigenic capture, processing and presentation functions of splenic DCs, and the cell-mediated immunity induced by the vaccine. These findings suggested that the immune-enhancing effect by pJME/GM-CSF was associated with infiltrate size and the appearance of integrin αx (CD11c)+cells. Chitosan-pJME/GM-CSF nanoparticles, prepared by coacervation via intramuscular injection, outperformed standard pJME/GM-CSF administrations in DC recruitment, antigen processing and presentation, and vaccine enhancement. This revealed that muscular injection of chitosan‑pJME/GM-CSF nanoparticles may enhance the immunoadjuvant properties of GM-CSF.