The role of cytokine DNAs as vaccine adjuvants for optimizing cellular immune responses

Immunol Rev. 2004 Dec;202:266-74. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2004.00200.x.


Cytokines represent a diverse group of immunologic effector and regulatory proteins that are critical components of the host response to invading pathogens. They have also been utilized as adjuvants to enhance immune responses to vaccines. In particular, plasmid cytokines have been studied extensively as candidate adjuvants for DNA vaccines in preclinical models and are now entering early-phase clinical trials. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of cytokine biology, T-lymphocyte differentiation, and potential applications of plasmid cytokines in the rational design of improved vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / drug effects
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Plasmids
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology
  • Vaccines, DNA / therapeutic use*


  • Cytokines
  • Vaccines, DNA