Characterization of nonpathogenic, live, viral vaccine vectors inducing potent cellular immune responses.
Experimental vaccines based on recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSV) expressing foreign viral proteins are protective in several animal disease models. Although these attenuated viruses are nonpathogenic in nonhuman primates when given by nasal, oral, or intramuscular routes, they are pathogenic in mice when given intranasally, and further vector attenuation may be required before human trials with VSV-based vectors can begin. Mutations truncating the VSV glycoprotein (G) cytoplasmic domain from 29 to 9 or 1 amino acid (designated CT9 or CT1, respectively) were shown previously to attenuate VSV growth in cell culture and pathogenesis in mice. Here we show that VSV recombinants carrying either the CT1 or CT9 deletion and expressing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Env protein are nonpathogenic in mice, even when given by the intranasal route. We then carried out a detailed analysis of the CD8+ T-cell responses, including in vivo cytotoxic T-cell activity, induced by these vectors. When given by either the intranasal or intraperitoneal route, the VSV-CT9 vector expressing HIV Env elicited primary and memory CD8+ T-cell responses to Env equivalent to those elicited by recombinant wild-type VSV expressing Env. The VSV-CT1 vector also induced potent CD8+ T-cell responses after intraperitoneal vaccination, but was less effective when given by the intranasal route. The VSV-CT1 vector was also substantially less effective than the VSV-CT9 or wild-type vector at inducing antibody to Env. The VSV-CT9 vector appears ideal because of its lack of pathogenesis, propagation to high titers in vitro, and stimulation of strong cellular and humoral immune responses.
Publicover, J; Ramsburg, E; Rose, JK
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