Baculovirus Capsid Display Potentiates OVA Cytotoxic and Innate Immune Responses
by Paula Molinari, María I. Crespo, María J. Gravisaco, Oscar Taboga, Gabriel Morón
Baculoviruses (BV) are DNA viruses that are pathogenic for insects. Although BV infect a range of mammalian cell types, they do not replicate in these cells. Indeed, the potential effects of these insect viruses on the immune responses of mammals are only just beginning to be studied. We show in this paper that a recombinant Autographa californica multiple nuclear polyhedrosis virus carrying a fragment of ovalbumin (OVA) on the VP39 capsid protein (BV-OVA) has the capacity to act as an adjuvant and vector of antigens in mice, thereby promoting specific CD4 and cytotoxic T cell responses against OVA. BV also induced in vivo maturation of dendritic cells and the production of inflammatory cytokines, thus promoting innate and adaptive immune responses. The OVA-specific response induced by BV-OVA was strong enough to reject a challenge with OVA-expressing melanoma cells (MO5 cells) and effectively prolonged survival of MO5 bearing mice. All these findings, together with the absence of pre-existing immunity to BV in humans and the lack of viral gene expression in mammalian cells, make BV a candidate for vaccination.
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