Evaluation of a DNA Aβ42 Vaccine in Aged NZW Rabbits: Antibody Kinetics and Immune Profile after Intradermal Immunization with Full-Length DNA Aβ42 Trimer

Doris Lambracht-Washington, Min Fu, Mary Wight-Carter, Matthew Riegel, Roger N. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are amyloid plaques in the brain consisting of aggregated amyloid-β 42 peptide (Aβ42) derived from cellular amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP). Based on successful experiments in mouse AD models, active immunization with Aβ42 peptide and passive immunizations with anti-Aβ42 antibodies were started in clinical trials. Active Aβ42 peptide immunization in humans had led to an inflammatory autoimmune response, and the trial was stopped. Passive immunizations had shown some effects in slowing AD pathology. Active DNA Aβ42 immunizations administered with the gene gun into the skin elicits a different immune response and is non-inflammatory. While in rodents, good responses had been found for this type of immunization, positive results in larger mammals are missing. We present here results from sixteen New Zealand White Rabbits, which underwent intradermal DNA Aβ42 immunization via gene gun. The humoral immune response was analyzed from blood throughout the study, and cellular immune responses were determined from spleens at the end of the study. A good anti-Aβ antibody response was found in the rabbit model. The T cell response after re-stimulation in cell culture showed no IFNγ producing cells when ELISPOT assays were analyzed from PBMC, but low numbers of IFNγ and IL-17 producing cells were found in ELISPOTS from spleens (both 5 immunizations). Brains from immunized rabbits showed no signs of encephalitis. Based on these results, DNA Aβ42 immunization is highly likely to be safe and effective to test in a possible clinical AD prevention trial in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-112
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • DNA vaccination
  • Th2 immune response
  • amyloid-β
  • antibody response
  • immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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