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Improved vaccine protection against retrovirus infection after co-administration of adenoviral vectors encoding viral antigens and type I interferon subtypes

Author(s): Bayer Wibke | Lietz Ruth | Ontikatze Teona | Johrden Lena | Tenbusch Matthias | Nabi Ghulam | Schimmer Simone | Groitl Peter | Wolf Hans | Berry Cassandra | Überla Klaus | Dittmer Ulf | Wildner Oliver

Journal: Retrovirology
ISSN 1742-4690

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Friend virus | interferon alpha subtypes | human adenovirus vectors | human immunodeficiency virus | vaccine

Abstract Background Type I interferons (IFNs) exhibit direct antiviral effects, but also distinct immunomodulatory properties. In this study, we analyzed type I IFN subtypes for their effect on prophylactic adenovirus-based anti-retroviral vaccination of mice against Friend retrovirus (FV) or HIV. Results Mice were vaccinated with adenoviral vectors encoding FV Env and Gag proteins alone or in combination with vectors encoding IFNα1, IFNα2, IFNα4, IFNα5, IFNα6, IFNα9 or IFNβ. Only the co-administration of adenoviral vectors encoding IFNα2, IFNα4, IFNα6 and IFNα9 resulted in strongly improved immune protection of vaccinated mice from subsequent FV challenge infection with high control over FV-induced splenomegaly and reduced viral loads. The level of protection correlated with augmented virus-specific CD4+ T cell responses and enhanced antibody titers. Similar results were obtained when mice were vaccinated against HIV with adenoviral vectors encoding HIV Env and Gag-Pol in combination with various type I IFN encoding vectors. Here mainly CD4+ T cell responses were enhanced by IFNα subtypes. Conclusions Our results indicate that certain IFNα subtypes have the potential to improve the protective effect of adenovirus-based vaccines against retroviruses. This correlated with augmented virus-specific CD4+ T cell and antibody responses. Thus, co-expression of select type I IFNs may be a valuable tool for the development of anti-retroviral vaccines.
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