E1-deleted adenoviral vectors are increasingly being utilized for in vivo gene transfer. The potential use of these vectors is limited by transient expression of the transgene and a markedly reduced rate of transduction following readministration, presumably due to a host immune response to the vector. We hypothesized that CD4+ lymphocytes are necessary to generate an immune response to these vectors and that administration of a depleting anti-CD4 antibody (GK1.5) might prolong transgene expression in vivo. We found that pretreatment of mice with a single injection (transient depletion) or weekly injections of GK1.5 (persistent depletion), markedly prolonged expression of an adenovirus-encoded tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor or luciferase gene compared to controls. Moreover, mice treated with GK1.5 showed no antiadenoviral antibody response to repeat administration of the vector and a second adenoviral transgene could be expressed in these animals. However, control mice developed a significant neutralizing antibody response that prevented transgene expression with administration of a second adenovirus. These findings demonstrate that manipulation of the host immune response may expand potential applications of gene transfer utilizing adenoviral vectors.