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Modulation of Vaccine-Induced HIV-1-Specific Immune Responses by Co-Electroporation of PD-L1 Encoding DNA

Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vaccines 2020, 8(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8010027
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunization by Electroporation)
The importance of a balanced TH1/TH2 humoral immune response against the HIV-1 envelope protein (Env) for antibody-mediated HIV-1 control is increasingly recognized. However, there is no defined vaccination strategy to raise it. Since immune checkpoints are involved in the induction of adoptive immunity and their inhibitors (monoclonal antibodies) are licensed for cancer therapy, we investigated the effect of checkpoint blockade after HIV-1 genetic vaccination on enhancement and modulation of antiviral antibody responses. By intraperitoneal administration of checkpoint antibodies in mice we observed an induction of anti-drug antibodies which may interfere with immunomodulation by checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, we blocked immune checkpoints locally by co-electroporation of DNA vaccines encoding the active soluble ectodomains of programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) or its ligand (PD-L1), respectively. Plasmid-encoded immune checkpoints did not elicit a detectable antibody response, suggesting no interference with their immunomodulatory effects. Co-electroporation of a HIV-1 DNA vaccine formulation with soluble PD-L1 ectodomain increased HIV-1 Env-specific TH1 CD4 T cell and IgG2a antibody responses. The overall antibody response was hereby shifted towards a more TH1/TH2 balanced subtype pattern. These findings indicate that co-electroporation of soluble checkpoint ectodomains together with DNA-based vaccines has modulatory effects on vaccine-induced immune responses that could improve vaccine efficacies. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV-1; checkpoint inhibitors; checkpoint blockade; intramuscular electroporation; soluble immune checkpoints; immunomodulation HIV-1; checkpoint inhibitors; checkpoint blockade; intramuscular electroporation; soluble immune checkpoints; immunomodulation
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Tannig, P.; Peter, A.S.; Lapuente, D.; Klessing, S.; Damm, D.; Tenbusch, M.; Überla, K.; Temchura, V. Modulation of Vaccine-Induced HIV-1-Specific Immune Responses by Co-Electroporation of PD-L1 Encoding DNA. Vaccines 2020, 8, 27.

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