Immune responses against adenoviral vectors and their transgene products: a review of strategies for evasion

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2004 Apr;50(1):51-70. doi: 10.1016/S1040-8428(03)00172-0.


Human adenoviruses have been adopted as attractive vectors for in vivo gene therapy since they have a well-characterized genomic organization, can be grown to high titres and efficiently transduce a wide spectrum of dividing and non-dividing cells. However, the first-generation of adenoviral (Ad) vectors yielded only transient expression of the transgene in most immunocompetent mice. This constituted a major limitation of this early vector type. In contrast, persistent transgene expression can be established in immunodeficient mice. This suggests that the immunogenicity of adenoviral vectors limits the effective period of adenovirus-based gene therapy. Much effort has been put in devising strategies to circumvent the limitations imposed onto gene therapy by the immune system. Improvements in vector design have significantly improved the performance of the adenovirus vectors. Based on these results it is reasonable to anticipate that new modifications of the vectors will overcome some of the immunological barriers and will further expand the applicability of adenovirus-derived vectors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Adenoviridae / immunology*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Genetic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Genetic Vectors / adverse effects
  • Genetic Vectors / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity*
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use


  • Immunologic Factors