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Generation of CTL responses using Kunjin replicon RNA.

Ward SM, Tindle RW, Khromykh AA, Gowans EJ

  • Journal Immunology and cell biology

  • Published 22 Sep 2003

  • Volume 81

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 73-8

  • DOI 10.1046/j.0818-9641.2002.01137.x


The Kunjin replicon was used to express a polytope that consisted of seven hepatitis C virus cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes and one influenza cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope for vaccination studies. The self-replicating nature of, and expression from, the ribonucleic acid was confirmed in vitro. Initial vaccinations with one dose of Kun-Poly ribonucleic acid showed that an influenza-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte response was elicited more efficiently by intradermal inoculation compared with intramuscular delivery. Two micrograms of ribonucleic acid delivered in the ear pinnae of mice was sufficient to elicit a detectable cytotoxic T lymphocyte response 10 days post-vaccination. Further vaccination studies showed that four of the seven hepatitis C virus cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes were able to elicit weak cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses whereas the influenza epitope was able to elicit strong, specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses following three doses of Kun-Poly ribonucleic acid. These studies vindicate the use of the Kunjin replicon as a vector to deliver encoded proteins for the development of cell-mediated immune responses.