Immunomodulatory effect of a plasmid expressing CD40 ligand on DNA vaccination against human immunodeficiency virus type-1

Immunology. 1999 Nov;98(3):436-42. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.1999.00879.x.


CD40 ligand is a costimulatory molecule which acts a potent immunomodulator. We found the mice inoculated with human CD40 ligand expression plasmid (pMEhCD40L) combined with human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) DNA vaccine exhibited both humoral and cellular antigen-specific immunological enhancement. The expression of hCD40L induced predominantly antigen-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody response while it failed to induce mucosal IgA response. Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity were induced in a dose-dependent manner. Examination of the relative levels of the two IgG subclasses showed that co-injection of pMEhCD40L enhanced IgG2a response without suppressing IgG1 response. Similarly, the expression of pMEhCD40L enhanced not only T helper 1 (Th1)- but also Th2-type cytokine production. In conclusion, co-inoculation of pMEhCD40L with DNA vaccine was shown to be a useful way to enhance CTL responses without suppressing the humoral immune response in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / genetics
  • CD40 Antigens*
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • HIV-1*
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / administration & dosage*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plasmids / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • CD40 Ligand