Skeletal Muscle Is an Antigen Reservoir in Integrase-Defective Lentiviral Vector-Induced Long-Term Immunity.
We previously developed integrase-defective lentiviral vectors (IDLVs) as an antigen delivery system for inducing strong and prolonged immunity in animal models. Here, we examined the association between persistence of antigen expression and durability of immune response. Following a single intramuscular (i.m.) or subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of IDLV delivering GFP in mice, we evaluated antigen expression and inflammation at the site of injection and persistence of antigen-specific T cells at early and late time points. Durable antigen expression was detected up to 90 days only after i.m. immunization. Mononuclear inflammation was evident soon after IDLV injection in both i.m. and s.c. immunized mice, but remained detectable up to 30 days postinjection only in i.m. immunized mice. Similarly, GFP-specific T cells were more persistent in the i.m. immunized mice. Interestingly, GFP+ muscle fibers were co-expressing major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, suggesting that muscle cells are competent for presenting antigens to T cells in vivo. In in vitro experiments, we demonstrated that although both primary myoblasts and myocytes present the antigen to GFP-specific T cells through MHC class I, myoblasts are more resistant to Fas-dependent cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) killing activity. Overall, these data indicate that muscle cells may serve as an antigen reservoir that contributes to the long-term immunity induced by IDLV vaccination.
Lin, Y-Y; Belle, I; Blasi, M; Huang, M-N; Buckley, AF; Rountree, W; Klotman, ME; Cara, A; Negri, D
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