Recently, we reported that a DNA vaccine, composed of three copies of a self B cell epitope of amyloid-beta (Abeta(42)) and the foreign T-cell epitope, Pan DR epitope (PADRE), generated strong anti-Abeta immune responses in wild-type and amyloid precursor protein transgenic animals. Although DNA vaccines have several advantages over peptide-protein vaccines, they induce lower immune responses in large animals and humans compared with those in mice. The focus of this study was to further enhance anti-Abeta(11) immune responses by developing an improved DNA vaccination protocol of the prime-boost regimen, in which the priming step would use DNA and the boosting step would use recombinant protein. Accordingly, we generated DNA and recombinant protein-based epitope vaccines and showed that priming with DNA followed by boosting with a homologous recombinant protein vaccine significantly increases the anti-Abeta antibody responses and do not change the immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) profile of humoral immune responses. Furthermore, the antibodies generated by this prime-boost regimen were long-lasting and possessed a higher avidity for binding with an Abeta(42) peptide. Thus, we showed that a heterologous prime-boost regimen could be an effective protocol for developing a potent Alzheimer's disease (AD) vaccine.