Coadministration of polyinosinic: Polycytidylic acid and immunostimulatory complexes modifies antigen processing in dendritic cell subsets and enhances HIV gag-specific T cell immunity

Kylie M. Quinn, Ayako Yamamoto, Andreia Costa, Patricia A. Darrah, Ross W B Lindsay, Sonia T. Hegde, Teresa R. Johnson, Barbara J. Flynn, Karin Loré, Robert A. Seder

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Currently approved adjuvants induce protective Ab responses but are more limited for generating cellular immunity. In this study, we assessed the effect of combining two adjuvants with distinct mechanisms of action on their ability to prime T cells: the TLR3 ligand, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), and immunostimulatory complexes (ISCOMs). Each adjuvant was administered alone or together with HIV Gag protein (Gag), and the magnitude, quality, and phenotype of Gag-specific T cell responses were assessed. For CD8 T cells, all adjuvants induced a comparable response magnitude, but combining poly I:C with ISCOMs induced a high frequency of CD127+, IL-2-producing cells with decreased expression of Tbet compared with either adjuvant alone. For CD4 T cells, combining poly I:C and ISCOMs increased the frequency of multifunctional cells, producing IFN-γ, IL-2, and TNF, and the total magnitude of the response compared with either adjuvant alone. CD8 or CD4 T cell responses induced by both adjuvants mediated protection against Gag-expressing Listeria monocytogenes or vaccinia viral infections. Poly I:C and ISCOMs can alter Ag uptake and/or processing, and we therefore used fluorescently labeled HIV Gag and DQ-OVA to assess these mechanisms, respectively, in multiple dendritic cell subsets. Poly I:C promoted uptake and retention of Ag, whereas ISCOMs enhanced Ag degradation. Combining poly I:C and ISCOMs caused substantial death of dendritic cells but persistence of degraded Ag. These data illustrate how combining adjuvants, such as poly I:C and ISCOMs, that modulate Ag processing and have potent innate activity, can enhance the magnitude, quality, and phenotype of T cell immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5085-5096
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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