4-1BBL enhances CD8+ T cell responses induced by vectored vaccines in mice but fails to improve immunogenicity in rhesus macaques.
Spencer AJ., Furze J., Honeycutt JD., Calvert A., Saurya S., Colloca S., Wyllie DH., Gilbert SC., Bregu M., Cottingham MG., Hill AVS.
T cells play a central role in the immune response to many of the world's major infectious diseases. In this study we investigated the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily costimulatory molecule, 4-1BBL (CD137L, TNFSF9), for its ability to increase T cell immunogenicity induced by a variety of recombinant vectored vaccines. To efficiently test this hypothesis, we assessed a number of promoters and developed a stable bi-cistronic vector expressing both the antigen and adjuvant. Co-expression of 4-1BBL, together with our model antigen TIP, was shown to increase the frequency of murine antigen-specific IFN-γ secreting CD8(+) T cells in three vector platforms examined. Enhancement of the response was not limited by co-expression with the antigen, as an increase in CD8(+) immunogenicity was also observed by co-administration of two vectors each expressing only the antigen or adjuvant. However, when this regimen was tested in non-human primates using a clinical malaria vaccine candidate, no adjuvant effect of 4-1BBL was observed limiting its potential use as a single adjuvant for translation into a clinical vaccine.