Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a common and devastating pneumonia. We developed a novel antiinfective vaccine that couples the potent Ag-presenting capacity of dendritic cells (DCs) with paracrine delivery of interleukin-12 (IL-12) to local immune response sites. Our results showed that DCs engulfed Aspergillus conidia through coiling phagocytosis. Transfection of DCs with adenovirus encoding the cDNA of IL-12 did not affect their morphology and capacity to engulf conidia. The transduced DCs secreted IL- 12, which was biologically active, to induce the production of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) from spleen cells. Adoptive transfer of DCs pulsed with heat-inactivated Aspergillus fumigatus (HAF) to naïve mice induced the Ag-specific production of IFN-γ; the transduced HAF-pulsed DCs augmented this immune response further. Animals receiving HAF-pulsed DCs had lower fungal burdens, a more than three-fold higher survival rate at day 3. This protection was associated with a pronounced enhancement in the Aspergillus-specific IFN-γ response. IL-12-engineered DCs augmented this protection strikingly as judged by a higher survival, and almost no Aspergillus could be detected in the lung of mice that had received IL-12-transduced HAF-pulsed DCs. These results suggest that antigen-pulsed DCs and IL-12 gene therapy could be used as adjunct therapy for aspergillosis.
- Dendritic cells
- Gene therapy
- Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas