DNA containing an unmethylated CpG motif has a potent immunostimulatory effect on the vertebrate immune system. Because such CpG motifs are relatively common in bacterial DNA, but rare in mammalian animal and plant DNA, they may be an evolutionary adaptation augmenting innate immunity, most likely in response to pathogens that replicate within the host cells, such as viruses and intracellular bacteria. Microbial infection induces innate immunity by triggering pattern-recognition systems. The infected cells produce proinflammatory cytokines that directly combat microbial invaders and express costimulating surface molecules, which develop adaptive immunity by inducing distinct T cell differentiation. Bacterial DNA with unmethylated CpG-DNA stimulates vertebrate immature immune cells to induce maturation and to produce TNF-α as well as Th1-type cytokines, IL-12 and IFN-γ. Therefore, CpG-DNA functions as an adjuvant for regulating the initiation of Th1 differentiation. The roles of immunostimulatory CpG motifs in DNA vaccine developments and in therapeutic applications have been discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Japanese journal of infectious diseases|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases