Intradermal Immunization with rAAV1 Vector Induces Robust Memory CD8+ T Cell Responses Independently of Transgene Expression in DCs

Mol Ther. 2017 Oct 4;25(10):2309-2322. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2017.06.019. Epub 2017 Jul 15.


Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors exhibit interesting properties as vaccine carriers for their ability to induce long-lasting antibody responses. However, rAAV-based vaccines have been suggested to trigger functionally impaired long-term memory CD8+ T cell responses, in part due to poor dendritic cell (DC) transduction. Such results, albeit limited to intramuscular immunization, undermined the use of rAAV as vaccine vehicles against intracellular pathogens. We report here that intradermal immunization with a model rAAV2/1-based vaccine drives the development of bona fide long-term memory CD8+ T cell responses. The intradermal route of immunization and the presence of potent major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II responses showed synergistic effects on the overall quantity and quality of systemic long-term effector memory transgene-specific CD8+ T cells being generated against the transgene. Of key interest, we found that the induction of memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) following intradermal immunization was solely dependent on the cross-presentation of skin-expressed transgene products, which appeared highly enhanced as compared to muscle-expressed transgene products. Overall our results highlight key tissue-specific differences in transgene presentation pathway requirements of importance for the design of rAAV-based T cell-inducing vaccines.

Keywords: CTL; cross-presentation; rAAV; skin; vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL