A neonatal Fc receptor-targeted mucosal vaccine strategy effectively induces HIV-1 antigen-specific immunity to genital infection.

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Adjuvants-Immunologic, Administration-Intranasal, Animals, B-Lymphocytes, Female, HIV-Core-Protein-p24, HIV-Infections, Histocompatibility-Antigens-Class-I, Immunoglobulin-Fc-Fragments, Immunologic-Memory, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Receptors-Fc, Recombinant-Fusion-Proteins, T-Lymphocytes, Vaccines-Synthetic

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J Virol 2011; 85(20):10542-53.

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Strategies to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV include vaccines that elicit durable, protective mucosal immune responses. A key to effective mucosal immunity is the capacity for antigens administered locally to cross epithelial barriers. Given the role of neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) in transferring IgG across polarized epithelial cells which line mucosal surfaces, FcRn might be useful for delivering HIV vaccine antigens across mucosal epithelial barriers to the underlying antigen-presenting cells. Chimeric proteins composed of HIV Gag (p24) fused to the Fc region of IgG (Gag-Fc) bind efficiently to airway mucosa and are transported across this epithelial surface. Mice immunized intranasally with Gag-Fc plus CpG adjuvant developed local and systemic immunity, including durable B and T cell memory. Gag-specific immunity was sufficiently potent to protect against an intravaginal challenge with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the HIV Gag protein. Intranasal administration of a Gag-Fc/CpG vaccine protected at a distal mucosal site. Our data suggest that targeting of FcRn with chimeric immunogens may be an important strategy for mucosal immunization and should be considered a new approach for preventive HIV vaccines.