Direct targeting of dendritic cells is an ideal goal for DNA vaccine delivery in order to stimulate both arms of the immune system. However, dendritic cells are often difficult to transfect using nonviral polyplexes. Here we show that transfecting bystander cells such as fibroblasts with PEI/DNA complexes leads to efficient cross-presentation of a model antigen by dendritic cells and subsequent activation of antigen-specific CD8 + T cells. Maturation of dendritic cells is also stimulated after co-culture with transfected fibroblasts. Such outcomes depend on a proper balance between transfection efficiency and polyplex-induced cytotoxicity in the fibroblasts. In fact, substantial cytotoxicity is desirable and even necessary for cross-presentation and cross-priming of T cells. This study illustrates a new pathway of polymer-based DNA vaccine delivery via bystander cells without direct targeting of antigen-presenting cells and highlights the importance of exploiting polymer-induced cytotoxicity for the benefit of immune activation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the NIH (Grant R01CA129189 ) for partial support, Dr. John Ohlfest for providing the DC 2.4 cells, and Dr. Matt Mescher for providing the OT-1/PL mice.
Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- DNA vaccine
- Gene delivery
- Immune response