A previous study showed that a tolerogenic gene vaccine based on a IgG1Fc-pCons chimera (here named GX101) protects NZB/NZW mice from SLE development. The present study was aimed at identifying the most effective schedule of immunization and the possible involvement of CD4+ Foxp3+ Treg in the mechanism of action, in view of its eventual translation to the human studies. NZB/NZW mice were vaccinated with B lymphocytes made transgenic by spontaneous transgenesis with a gene coding for a chimeric IgG1Fc-pCons construct. Different schedules of vaccination were set in relation to the timing and number of administrations. Survival, proteinuria levels, and CD4+ Foxp3+ Treg frequency were monitored during the full experiments. GX101-treated mice showed delayed disease onset and delayed mortality than controls. GX101 effects were implemented by early as well as repeated vaccine administrations. GX101 vaccination was associated with increased frequencies of CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Treg with respect to controls. This study demonstrates that early and repeated immunizations with GX101 vaccine provide a better outcome than late or single vaccine administration regarding onset/development in SLE-prone mice, acting as a possible disease-modifying approach. Vaccine effects are likely related to CD4+ Foxp3+ Treg cell expansion.
- DNA vaccination
- Immune tolerance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)