Using HLA-A2.1 transgenic rabbit model to screen and characterize new HLA-A2.1 restricted epitope DNA vaccines

Jiafen Hu, Todd D. Schell, Xuwen Peng, Nancy M. Cladel, Karla K. Balogh, Neil D. Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have established an HLA-A2.1 transgenic rabbit /cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) infection model. Using this novel transgenic animal model, we reported earlier that a multivalent epitope DNA vaccine (CRPVE1ep1-5) containing fi ve HLA-A2.1 restricted epitopes from CRPVE1 (42-50, 149-157, 161-169, 245-253 and 303-311) was successful in providing strong and specifi c protective and therapeutic immunity. Among these fi ve epitopes, two (161- 169 and 303-311) have been proven to stimulate strong immunity in both HLA-A2.1 transgenic mouse and rabbit models. In the current study, we further identifi ed the remaining three epitopes (CRPVE1/42-50,149-157, 245-253) in both animal models. CRPVE1/149-157 was able to induce specifi c CTL responses in HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice by DNA immunization but undetectable by peptide immunization. CRPVE1/42-50 and 245-253 failed to respond in HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice either by peptide or DNA immunization. All the three epitopes when administrated as DNA vaccines, however, were able to stimulate strong protective immunity in HLA-A2.1 transgenic rabbits in a dose dependent manner. Among the fi ve epitopes, two (CRPVE1/ 303-311and CRPVE1/149-157) DNA vaccines also showed specifi c therapeutic effects in CRPV-infected HLA-A2.1 transgenic rabbits. Taken together, the HLA-A2.1 transgenic rabbit model recognized more epitopes than did the HLA-A2.1 transgenic mouse model. Our data demonstrate that the HLA-A2.1 transgenic rabbit model can complement the HLA-A2.1 transgenic mouse model for the development and testing of new HLA-A2.1 restricted prophylactic and therapeutic T cell based DNA vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vaccines and Vaccination
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Virology


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