Immunostimulatory CpG oligonucleotides enhance the immune response of anti-idiotype vaccine that mimics carcinoembryonic antigen

Rathindra Nath Baral, Asim Saha, Sunil K. Chatterjee, Kenneth A. Foon, Arthur M. Krieg, George J. Weiner, Malaya Bhattacharya-Chatterjee

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30 Scopus citations


We have developed and characterized a monoclonal anti-idiotype (Id) antibody, designated 3H1, which mimics a specific epitope of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and can be used as a surrogate for CEA. Anti-Id 3H1 induced anti-CEA immunity in different species of animals as well as humans and showed promise as a potential vaccine candidate in phase I/II clinical trials for colorectal cancer patients. One area of interest to us has been the development of new immune adjuvants that may augment the potency of 3H1 as a tumor vaccine. Immunostimulatory oliogonucleotides containing the unmethylated CpG motif (CpG ODN) are potent inducers of both innate and adaptive immunity and can serve as suitable vaccine adjuvants. In this study, using the CEA-transduced MC-38 murine colon carcinoma model in syngeneic C57BL/6 mice, we assessed whether a select CpG ODN (1826) can function as immune adjuvant in immunization of mice with anti-Id 3H1. Complete Freund's adjuvant (FA) was used as a gold standard in this system. A single immunization of 3H1 mixed with CpG ODN 1826 was sufficient to induce measurable anti-CEA immunity in naïve mice. However, 3 immunizations every other week were necessary to obtain and sustain peak immune reactivity over a long period of time. With FA and 3H1, single immunization was ineffective and multiple immunizations (5 to 6) were needed to achieve and sustain peak immunity. Anti-CEA antibody reactivity was comparable in both groups, but cellular immune reactivity as measured by immune splenic lymphocyte T cell proliferation and cytoxicity assay was slightly higher in the CpG ODN group. Mice immunized with 3H1 and either CpG ODN or FA were protected from challenge by lethal doses of MC-38-CEA cells. However, the degree of protection was slightly higher and the duration of survival was somewhat longer in the group of mice treated with 3H1 plus CpG ODN. Thus, CpG ODN 1826 was faster than FA in increasing anti-tumor immunity induced by anti-Id 3H1 immunization in this prophylactic model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported in part by grants CA 86025 and CA 91878 from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. We thank Dr. Jeffrey Schlom (NIH) for the MC-38 and MC-38-CEA cells and Audrey Morrison for typing the manuscript.


  • Anti-idiotype antibody
  • Cancer vaccine
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen
  • CpG oligonucleotide
  • Immunotherapy


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