Anti-cancer DNA vaccines have attracted growing interest as a simple and non-invasive method for both the treatment and prevention of tumors induced by human papillomaviruses. Nonetheless, the low immunogenicity of parenterally administered vaccines, particularly regarding the activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses, suggests that further improvements in both vaccine composition and administration routes are still required. In the present study, we report the immune responses and anti-tumor effects of a DNA vaccine (pgD-E7E6E5) expressing three proteins (E7, E6, and E5) of the human papillomavirus type 16 genetically fused to the glycoprotein D of the human herpes simplex virus type 1, which was administered to mice by the intradermal (id) route using a gene gun. A single id dose of pgD-E7E6E5 (2 µg/dose) induced a strong activation of E7-specific interferon-γ (INF-γ)-producing CD8+ T cells and full prophylactic anti-tumor effects in the vaccinated mice. Three vaccine doses inhibited tumor growth in 70% of the mice with established tumors. In addition, a single vaccine dose consisting of the co-administration of pgD-E7E6E5 and the vector encoding interleukin-12 or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor further enhanced the therapeutic anti-tumor effects and conferred protection to 60 and 50% of the vaccinated mice, respectively. In conclusion, id administration of pgD-E7E6E5 significantly enhanced the immunogenicity and anti-tumor effects of the DNA vaccine, representing a promising administration route for future clinical trials
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