Several reports have suggested that the mechanism of protection induced by antiidiotypic vaccination against low-grade lymphoproliferative disorders is likely to be antibody mediated. Here we test the hypothesis that DNA vaccination with the short peptide encompassing the complementary-determining region 3 hypervariable region of immunoglobulin heavy chain (VH-CDR3) may elicit a specific antibody immune response able to recognize the native antigens in the form required for therapy. As a test system, we used the VH-CDR3 sequences derived from two patients with non-Hodgkin's B lymphomas (PA, AS) and one patient with hairy cell leukemia (BA) to immunize outbred Swiss mice. This experimental model could mimic a clinical setting in which different patients present distinct HLA haplotypes. Individual tumor-specific VH-CDR3 sequences were amplified by a two-step procedure and directly cloned into multigenic plasmid vectors (pRC100 and derived) with and without mouse interleukin 2 (mIL-2). Each tumor-specific sequence was characterized by sequencing. Female Swiss mice were vaccinated i.m. with plasmids expressing the tumor-specific VH-CDR3 sequence alone (pRC101-PA), mIL-2 plus the VH-CDR3 sequence (pRC111-PA), or a different unrelated antigen (NS3 of hepatitis C virus; pRC112), the sole mIL-2 (pRC110), and the empty plasmid (pRC100). Boost injections were performed at 3 and 16 weeks from the first vaccination, and sera were drawn before each vaccination and at 6, 9, and 19 weeks. Induction of anti-VH-CDR3s antibodies in the sera and their ability to recognize native antigens on patients' tumor cells were evaluated by FACS analysis. Up to 56% (n = 25) of mice vaccinated with pRC111-PA plasmid and 20% (n = 15) of mice vaccinated with pRC101-PA developed a specific immune response that was maintained throughout 19 weeks of observation in 40% of pRC111-PA-vaccinated mice. No response was detected in sera obtained from mice vaccinated with the other plasmids (n = 45). pRC111-PA injection s.c. was less effective (13%, n = 15) than i.m. injection (53%, n = 15). Indeed, we demonstrated that antibodies elicited by naked DNA vaccination against three different patient-derived VH-CDR3 peptides (pRC111-PA or BA or AS) readily reacted with binding epitopes on the idiotypic proteins expressed on the surface of tumor cells derived from each patient; 60, 40, and 40% of, respectively, PA-, BA-, and AS-vaccinated mice developed specific antibodies. No cross-reactivity was detected among the three different CDR3s against tumor cells derived from the other two patients. The outbred mouse strategy confirmed the significant matching potential of three different VH-CDR3 peptides to be efficaciously presented through different MHCs. We conclude that individual VH-CDR3 DNA vaccination can result in a potentially effective specific immune response against non-Hodgkin's B lymphoma cells by a rapid and low-cost therapeutic approach.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|