Detection of progeny immune responses after intravenous administration of DNA vaccine to pregnant mice
© Springer 2001
Received: 5 March 2002
Accepted: 8 April 2002
A number of factors influence the development of tolerance, including the nature, concentration and mode of antigen presentation to the immune system, as well as the age of the host. The studies were conducted to determine whether immunizing pregnant mice with liposome-encapsulated DNA vaccines had an effect on the immune status of their offspring. Two different plasmids (encoding antigens from HIV-1 and influenza virus) were administered intravenously to pregnant mice. At 9.5 days post conception with cationic liposomes, injected plasmid was present in the tissues of the fetus, consistent with trans-placental transfer. When the offspring of vaccinated dams were immunized with DNA vaccine, they mounted stronger antigen-specific immune responses than controls and were protected against challenge by homologous influenza virus after vaccination. Moreover, such immune responses were strong in the offspring of mothers injected with DNA plasmid 9.5 days after coitus. These results suggest that DNA vaccinated mothers confer the antigen-specific immunity to their progeny. Here we describe the methods in detail as they relate to our previously published work.