Exposure to bacterial DNA generates a "danger signal" that stimulates cellular elements of the mammalian immune system to proliferate and/or secrete cytokines. Stimulation is critically dependent on hexameric motifs that contain an unmethylated CpG dinucleotide: these are commonly found in bacterial but not vertebrate DNA. Different motifs are optimally stimulatory in different species. This work examines whether oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing CpG motifs stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells from pigs. Results show that pigs respond to CpG ODN by proliferating and secreting IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-alpha. By screening a large panel (>100) of ODNs, the palindromic hexamer 'ATCGAT' was identified as being optimally active in all animals examined (N = 10). These findings are the first to establish the immunostimulatory activity of CpG ODN in pigs, and suggest that the therapeutic uses envisioned for these ODNs (as vaccine adjuvants and immunoprotective agents) may be applicable to husbandry animals.
|Publication status||Published - 2001|