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The immune response to disialoganglioside GD3 vaccination in normal dogs: a melanoma surface antigen vaccine.

Author(s): Milner RJ, Salute M, Crawford C, Abbot JR, Farese J

Affiliation(s): Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Florida, USA. milnerr@mail.vetmed.ufl.edu

Publication date & source: 2006-12-15, Vet Immunol Immunopathol., 114(3-4):273-84. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

As a result of its metastatic potential, canine malignant melanoma like its human counterpart like its human counter part, has a poor response to conventional treatment protocols. This prompted us to investigate the possibility of enhancing the immune response against the melanoma cell surface antigen, disialoganglioside GD3. Initially a flow cytometric study was designed in which the incidence of GD3 on the cell surface, recognized by the monoclonal antibody Mel-1 (R24), was established in canine melanoma cell lines. Results from the flow cytometry found GD3 to be highly expressed (94.2%) in six out of seven canine melanoma cell lines. Since it was thus potentially a good target, a study in which normal dogs were vaccinated intradermally with a vaccine containing GD3 plus adjuvants was designed. The adjuvant included CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG-ODN) sequences and RIBI-adjuvant, which are known to target toll-like receptors (TLR) of the innate immune system. From a cohort of 10 dogs, 4 were vaccinated 3 times, at 4 weekly intervals with GD3 plus adjuvant, and 4 received only RIBI-adjuvant, and 2 phosphate buffered saline. Caliper measurements were collected to assess skin reaction at the vaccination site and sera assayed for IgM and IgG antibodies against GD3 and cell-mediated cytotoxicity against a melanoma cell line. Results from the study found significant differences (P<0.05) in the vaccine site reactions, IgM/IgG levels and cell-mediated cytotoxicity in the vaccinated versus unvaccinated dogs. The addition of CpG-ODN sequences and increasing GD3 concentration in the vaccine increased the inflammation response at the injection site. GD3 IgG and IgM antibodies in vaccinated dogs showed increasing titers over time and achieved significance at weeks 9 and 12, respectively. Cell-mediated cytotoxicity was only detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from vaccinated dogs. In conclusion, by combining the tumor antigen GD3 (a known weak self-antigen) and an adjuvant, tolerance was overcome by an innate and adaptive immune response in this population of normal dogs.

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