Immunostimulatory CpG-modified plasmid DNA enhances IL-12, TNF-alpha, and NO production by bovine macrophages

J Leukoc Biol. 2001 Jul;70(1):103-12.


The immunogenicity of DNA vaccines is partially attributable to the adjuvant properties of bacterial plasmid DNA (pDNA) for B lymphocytes and professional antigen-presenting cells. In mice, modification of immunostimulatory sequences (ISSs), including CpG motifs, in pDNA vectors or oligodeoxynucleotides can increase or decrease their adjuvant properties. ISSs that stimulate optimal responses reportedly differ for murine and human leukocytes. We have previously characterized the mitogenic properties of oligodeoxynucleotides containing one AACGTT motif for bovine B lymphocytes. We now define cytokine responses by macrophages stimulated with pDNA engineered to contain an ISS comprising two AACGTT motifs. Macrophages activated with CpG-modified pDNA secreted significantly more interleukin-12, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and nitric oxide than macrophages stimulated with unmodified pDNA or modified pDNA that contained nucleotides scrambled to remove CpG motifs. Engineered CpG-pDNA or CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides should be useful as vaccines or adjuvants to promote the enhanced type 1 responses important for protection against intracellular pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / genetics
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cattle
  • CpG Islands / immunology*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / immunology*
  • Genetic Vectors / immunology
  • Interleukin-12 / biosynthesis*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Plasmids / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Vaccines, DNA / genetics
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Interleukin-12
  • Nitric Oxide
  • DNA
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II