We have established several HLA-A2.1-transgenic rabbit lines to provide a host to study CD8+ T cell responses during virus infections. HLA-A2.1 protein expression was detected on cell surfaces within various organ tissues. Continuous cultured cells from these transgenic rabbits were capable of presenting both endogenous and exogenous HLA-A2.1-restricted epitopes to an HLA-A2.1-restricted epitope-specific CTL clone. A DNA vaccine containing an HLA-A2.1-restricted human papillomavirus type 16 E7 epitope (amino acid residues 82-90) stimulated epitope-specific CTLs in both PBLs and spleen cells of transgenic rabbits. In addition, vaccinated transgenic rabbits were protected against infection with a mutant cottontail rabbit papillomavirus DNA containing an embedded human papillomavirus type 16 E7/82-90 epitope. Complete protection was achieved using a multivalent epitope DNA vaccine based on epitope selection from cottontail rabbit papillomavirus E1 using MHC class I epitope prediction software. HLA-A2.1-transgenic rabbits will be an important preclinical animal model system to study virus-host interactions and to assess specific targets for immunotherapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy