Long-term biodistribution of nanomaterials used in medicine is largely unknown. This is the case for alum, the most widely used vaccine adjuvant, which is a nanocrystalline compound spontaneously forming micron/submicron-sized agglomerates. Although generally well tolerated, alum is occasionally detected within monocyte-lineage cells long after immunization in presumably susceptible individuals with systemic/neurologic manifestations or autoimmune (inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA).
On the grounds of preliminary investigations in 252 patients with alum-associated ASIA showing both a selective increase of circulating CCL2, the major monocyte chemoattractant, and a variation in the CCL2 gene, we designed mouse experiments to assess biodistribution of vaccine-derived aluminum and of alum-particle fluorescent surrogates injected in muscle. Aluminum was detected in tissues by Morin stain and particle induced X-ray emission) (PIXE) Both 500 nm fluorescent latex beads and vaccine alum agglomerates-sized nanohybrids (Al-Rho) were used.
Intramuscular injection of alum-containing vaccine was associated with the appearance of aluminum deposits in distant organs, such as spleen and brain where they were still detected one year after injection. Both fluorescent materials injected into muscle translocated to draining lymph nodes (DLNs) and thereafter were detected associated with phagocytes in blood and spleen. Particles linearly accumulated in the brain up to the six-month endpoint; they were first found in perivascular CD11b+ cells and then in microglia and other neural cells. DLN ablation dramatically reduced the biodistribution. Cerebral translocation was not observed after direct intravenous injection, but significantly increased in mice with chronically altered blood-brain-barrier. Loss/gain-of-function experiments consistently implicated CCL2 in systemic diffusion of Al-Rho particles captured by monocyte-lineage cells and in their subsequent neurodelivery. Stereotactic particle injection pointed out brain retention as a factor of progressive particle accumulation.
Nanomaterials can be transported by monocyte-lineage cells to DLNs, blood and spleen, and, similarly to HIV, may use CCL2-dependent mechanisms to penetrate the brain. This occurs at a very low rate in normal conditions explaining good overall tolerance of alum despite its strong neurotoxic potential. However, continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier or high constitutive CCL-2 production.
Alum; Vaccine adverse effect; Vaccine adjuvant; Nanomaterial biodistribution; Nanomaterial neurodelivery; Macrophages; Macrophagic myofasciitis; CCL-2; Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
Rationale: Chitin is a ubiquitous polysaccharide in fungi, insects, allergens, and parasites that is released at sites of infection. Its role in the generation of tissue inflammation, however, is not fully understood.
Objectives: We hypothesized that chitin is an important adjuvant for adaptive immunity.
Methods: Mice were injected with a solution of ovalbumin and chitin.
Measurements and Main Results: We used in vivo and ex vivo/in vitro approaches to characterize the ability of chitin fragments to foster adaptive immune responses against ovalbumin and compared these responses to those induced by aluminum hydroxide (alum). In vivo, ovalbumin challenge caused an eosinophil-rich pulmonary inflammatory response, Th2 cytokine elaboration, IgE induction, and mucus metaplasia in mice that had been sensitized with ovalbumin plus chitin or ovalbumin plus alum. Toll-like receptor-2, MyD88, and IL-17A played critical roles in the chitin-induced responses, and MyD88 and IL-17A played critical roles in the alum-induced responses. In vitro, CD4+ T cells from mice sensitized with ovalbumin plus chitin were incubated with ovalbumin-stimulated bone marrow–derived dendritic cells. In these experiments, CD4+ T-cell proliferation, IL-5, IL-13, IFN-γ, and IL-17A production were appreciated. Toll-like receptor-2, MyD88, and IL-17A played critical roles in these in vitro adjuvant properties of chitin. TLR-2 was required for cell proliferation, whereas IL-17 and TLR-2 were required for cytokine elaboration. IL-17A also inhibited the generation of adaptive Th1 responses.
Conclusions: These studies demonstrate that chitin is a potent multifaceted adjuvant that induces adaptive Th2, Th1, and Th17 immune responses. They also demonstrate that the adjuvant properties of chitin are mediated by a pathway(s) that involves and is regulated by TLR-2, MyD88, and IL-17A.
chitin; adjuvant; ovalbumin; aluminum hydroxide; alum
Alum (aluminiun hydroxide) is the most widely used adjuvant in human vaccines, but the immune mechanisms that are activated by alum remain poorly understood. Alum has been recently shown to promote caspase-1 activation and IL-1β secretion but the cellular pathways involved remain elusive. Here we report that the release of IL-1β triggered by alum is abrogated in macrophages deficient in Nlrp3 and Asc but not Nlrc4. The requirement of the Nlrp3 inflammasome was specific for IL-1β in that secretion of TNF-α was independent of Nlrp3 or Asc. Consistently, processing of pro-caspase-1 induced by alum was abolished in macrophages lacking Nlrp3 or Asc. Unlike caspase-1 processing and IL-1β secretion triggered by LPS, alum-mediated activation of the inflammasome did not require exogenous ATP. Importantly, induction of IgG production against human serum albumin by alum was unimpaired in mice deficient in Nlrp3. These results indicate that alum induces IL-1β via the Nlrp3 inflammasome but this activity is dispensable for alum-mediated adjuvant activity.
Adjuvant; Alum; caspase-1; NLR
The combined adjuvant effect of ginsenoside Rg1 and aluminum hydroxide (alum) on immune responses to ovalbumin (OVA) in mice was investigated. BALB/c mice were subcutaneously (s.c.) inoculated twice with OVA alone or in combination with Rg1, alum, or Rg1 plus alum. Samples were collected 2 weeks after the boosting for the measurement of anti-OVA immunoglobulin G (IgG) isotypes in sera and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-5 (IL-5) produced in singular splenocyte cultures. Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses were measured in mice immunized as described above. After 10 days, the mice were injected s.c. with OVA at the footpads. Thereafter, the thickness of the footpads was measured once daily for 5 days. The results indicated that alum enhanced mainly Th2 (IgG1 and IL-5) responses (P < 0.05), while Rg1 enhanced both Th1 (IgG1 and IL-5) and Th2 (IgG2a, IFN-γ, and DTH) responses (P < 0.05). The highest immune responses were found in the mice injected with OVA solution containing both alum and Rg1. In addition, the hemolytic activity of Rg1 was much lower than that of Quil A. Therefore, Rg1 deserves further studies in order to tailor desired immune responses when a mixed Th1/Th2 immune response is needed.
► The EαGFP/YAe system can be used to study the impact of alum on antigen uptake and presentation by DCs. ► Alum acts as an antigen delivery system. ► Alum slows down protein degradation in DCs. ► Alum eventually enhances magnitude and duration of expression of peptide/MHC complexes on the DC surface.
Aluminium adjuvants (alum) have been the only widely approved adjuvants for use in human vaccines since the 1920s, however, the mechanism of action of these adjuvants remains elusive. Due to increasing demand for novel adjuvants, a clearer understanding of the mechanisms that allow these important agents to affect adaptive immune responses will make a significant contribution to the rational design of future vaccines.
Using a novel approach to tracking antigen and antigen presentation, we demonstrate that alum induces higher antigen accumulation and increased antigen presentation by dendritic cells (DCs) in vitro. Antigen accumulation was 100-fold higher and antigen presentation 10-fold higher following alum treatment when compared with soluble protein alone. We also observed that alum causes an initial reduction in presentation compared with soluble antigen, but eventually increases the magnitude and duration of antigen presentation. This was associated with reduced protein degradation in DCs following alum treatment. These studies demonstrate the dynamic alterations in antigen processing and presentation induced by alum that underlie enhanced DC function in response to this adjuvant.
BMDC, bone marrow-derived dendritic cell; EαGFP, Ealpha green fluorescence protein; Alum; Antigen uptake; Processing; Presentation; YAe system
Many new vaccines under development consist of rationally designed recombinant proteins that are relatively poor immunogens unless combined with potent adjuvants. There is only one adjuvant in common use in the U.S., aluminum phosphate or hydroxide (e.g. alum). This adjuvant, however, has significant limitations, particularly regarding the generation of strong cell-mediated (T cell) immune responses. A novel adjuvant, JVRS-100, composed of cationic liposome-DNA complexes (CLDC) has been evaluated for immune enhancing activity. The JVRS-100 adjuvant has been shown to elicit robust immune responses compared to CpG oligonucleotides, alum, and MPL adjuvants, and efficiently enhances both humoral and cellular immune responses. Safety has been evaluated in preclinical studies, and the adjuvant is now in early-stage clinical development. One application of this novel adjuvant is to augment the immune responses to recombinant subunit antigens, which are often poorly immunogenic. The JVRS-100 adjuvant, when combined with a recombinant influenza hemagglutinin (H1), elicited increased specific antibody and T-cell responses in mice. Single-dose vaccination and prime/boost vaccinations with JVRS-100-H1 were both shown to be protective (i.e., survival, reduced weight loss) following H1N1 (PR/8/34) virus challenge. Enhanced immunological responses could be critically important for improved efficacy and dose-sparing of a recombinant influenza vaccine.
Adjuvant; vaccine; influenza
An important aspect of malaria vaccine development is the identification of an appropriate adjuvant which is both capable of stimulating a protective immune response and safe for use by humans. Here, we investigated the feasibility of using novel immunostimulatory molecules as adjuvants combined with a crude antigen preparation and coadsorbed to aluminum hydroxide (alum) as a vaccine against blood-stage Plasmodium chabaudi AS malaria. Prior to challenge infection, immunization of genetically susceptible A/J mice with the combination of malaria antigen plus recombinant interleukin-12 (IL-12) in alum induced a Th1 immune response with production of high levels of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and diminished IL-4 levels by spleen cells stimulated in vitro with parasite antigen compared to mice immunized with antigen alone, antigen in alum, or antigen plus IL-12. Mice immunized with malaria antigen plus recombinant IL-12 in alum had high levels of total malaria-specific antibody and immunoglobulin G2a. Compared to unimmunized mice, immunization with antigen plus IL-12 in alum induced the highest level of protective immunity against challenge infection with P. chabaudi AS, which was evident as a significantly decreased peak parasitemia level and 100% survival. Protective immunity was dependent on CD4+ T cells, IFN-γ, and B cells and was long-lasting. Replacement of IL-12 as an adjuvant by synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) containing CpG motifs induced a similar level of vaccine-induced protection against challenge infection with P. chabaudi AS. These results illustrate that it is possible to enhance the potency of a crude malaria antigen preparation delivered in alum by inclusion of immunostimulatory molecules, such as IL-12 or CpG-ODN.
Deposition of uric acid crystals in joints causes the acute and chronic inflammatory disease known as gout and prolonged airway exposure to silica crystals leads to the development of silicosis, an irreversible fibrotic pulmonary disease. Aluminum salt (Alum) crystals are frequently used as vaccine adjuvant. The mechanisms by which crystals activate innate immunity through the Nlrp3 inflammasome are not well understood. Here, we show that uric acid, silica and Alum crystals trigger the extracellular delivery of endogenous ATP, which just precedes the secretion of mature interleukin-1β (IL-1β) by macrophages, both events depending on purinergic receptors and connexin/pannexin channels. Interestingly, not only ATP but also ADP and UTP are involved in IL-1β production upon these Nlrp3 inflammasome activators through multiple purinergic receptor signaling. These findings support a pivotal role for nucleotides as danger signals and provide a new molecular mechanism to explain how chemically and structurally diverse stimuli can activate the Nlrp3 inflammasome.
ATP; danger signal; inflammasome; P2R; NLR
Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease leading to destruction of insulin producing beta cells and life-long requirement for insulin therapy. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is a major target of this immune response. Studies in animal models of autoimmunity have shown that treatment with a target antigen can modulate aggressive autoimmunity. We evaluated immunization with GAD formulated in aluminum hydroxide (alum) as an adjuvant in recent onset T1DM.
In this multicentre, double-masked, randomised controlled trial, 145 subjects (ages 3-45) with T1DM for less than 3 months received 3 injections of 20 μg GAD-alum (48 subjects), 2 injections of GAD-alum and one of alum alone (49 subjects) or 3 injections of alum (48 subjects) subcutaneously at baseline, 4 weeks later and 8 weeks after the second injection. Primary outcome was baseline-adjusted geometric mean 2-hour area under the curve (AUC) serum C-peptide following a mixed meal tolerance test at one year. Secondary outcomes included changes in HbA1c and insulin dose, and safety. This trial is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00529399).
The ratio (experimental to control) of the adjusted population mean of C-peptide for the GAD-alum ×3 and GAD-alum ×2/alum ×1 groups is 0.998 (95% CI: [0.779, 1.22], p = 0.98) and 0.926 (95% CI: [0.720, 1.13], p = 0.50), respectively. HbA1c and insulin use did not differ between groups. There was no difference in rate or severity of adverse events between groups.
Antigen-based immunotherapy therapy using GAD-alum given subcutaneously in two or three doses over 4 to 12 weeks does not alter the course of loss of insulin secretion over one year in subjects with recently diagnosed T1DM. While antigen-based therapy is a highly desireable treatment and is effective in animal models, translation to human autoimmune disease remains a challenge.
National Institutes of Health.
glutamic acid decarboxylase; type 1 diabetes; antigen specific therapy; immune modulation; children
The role for adjuvants in human vaccines has been a matter of vigorous scientific debate, with the field hindered by the fact that for over 80 years, aluminum salts were the only adjuvants approved for human use. To this day, alum-based adjuvants, alone or combined with additional immune activators, remain the only adjuvants approved for use in the USA. This situation has not been helped by the fact that the mechanism of action of most adjuvants has been poorly understood. A relative lack of resources and funding for adjuvant development has only helped to maintain alum’s relative monopoly. To seriously challenge alum’s supremacy a new adjuvant has many major hurdles to overcome, not least being alum’s simplicity, tolerability, safety record and minimal cost. Carbohydrate structures play critical roles in immune system function and carbohydrates also have the virtue of a strong safety and tolerability record. A number of carbohydrate compounds from plant, bacterial, yeast and synthetic sources have emerged as promising vaccine adjuvant candidates. Carbohydrates are readily biodegradable and therefore unlikely to cause problems of long-term tissue deposits seen with alum adjuvants. Above all, the Holy Grail of human adjuvant development is to identify a compound that combines potent vaccine enhancement with maximum tolerability and safety. This has proved to be a tough challenge for many adjuvant contenders. Nevertheless, carbohydrate-based compounds have many favorable properties that could place them in a unique position to challenge alum’s monopoly over human vaccine usage.
adjuvants; carbohydrate; glucan; glycomics; immunity; inulin; vaccines
A liposome-encapsulated cloned protein (R32tet32) containing sequences from the tetrapeptide repeat region of the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites was examined for immunogenicity with rabbits and monkeys. Effects of adjuvants were tested by encapsulation of the antigen in liposomes either lacking or containing lipid A and adsorption with aluminum hydroxide (ALUM). When rabbits were immunized with R32tet32 alone, a primary antibody response was not seen and a secondary response did not appear until 32 to 36 weeks after boosting. Immunization with ALUM-adsorbed R32tet32 resulted in a minimal primary antibody response. A moderate secondary antibody response was detected within 2 weeks after boosting, but antibody levels decreased to preimmunization levels 8 weeks after boosting. When R32tet32 was encapsulated in liposomes containing lipid A, strong primary and secondary antibody responses were observed. Strong primary and secondary responses also were obtained when R32tet32 was encapsulated in liposomes either containing or lacking lipid A and the liposomes were adsorbed with ALUM. The strongest antibody response was obtained by immunization with ALUM-adsorbed liposomes containing lipid A and R32tet32, suggesting that the adjuvant effects of liposomes, lipid A, and ALUM were additive or synergistic.
Molecular characterization of mechanisms by which human pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) detect danger signals has greatly expanded our understanding of the innate immune system. PRRs include Toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs), retinoic acid inducible gene-like receptors (RLRs) and C-type lectin receptors (CLRs). Characterization of the developmental expression of these systems in the fetus, newborn and infant is incomplete but has yielded important insights into neonatal susceptibility to infection. Activation of PRRs on antigen-presenting cells enhances co-stimulatory function, and thus PRRs agonists are potential vaccine adjuvants, some of which are already in clinical use. Thus study of PRRs has also revealed how previously mysterious immunomodulators are able to mediate their actions, including the vaccine adjuvant aluminum hydroxide (Alum) whose adjuvant activity depends on its ability to activate a cytosolic protein complex known as the Nacht Domain Leucine-Rich Repeat and PYD-Containing Protein 3 (NALP3) inflammasome leading to IL-1ß production. Progress in characterizing PRRs is thus informing and expanding the design of improved adjuvants. This review summarizes recent developments in the field of innate immunity with special emphasis on developmental expression in the fetus, newborn and infant and its implications for the design of more effective neonatal and infant vaccines.
Certain CpG motifs found in bacterial DNA enhance immune responses through Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) and may also demonstrate adjuvant properties. Our objective was to determine if DNA from bacteria associated with periodontal disease could affect the immune response to other bacterial antigens in the oral cavity. Streptococcus sobrinus glucosyltransferase (GTF), an enzyme involved in dental caries pathogenesis, was used as a test antigen. Rowett rats were injected with aluminum hydroxide (alum) with buffer, alum-GTF, or alum-GTF together with either Escherichia coli DNA, Fusobacterium nucleatum DNA, or Porphyromonas gingivalis DNA. Contrary to expectation, animals receiving alum-GTF plus bacterial DNA (P. gingivalis in particular) demonstrated significantly reduced serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody, salivary IgA antibody, and T-cell proliferation to GTF compared to animals immunized with alum-GTF alone. A diminished antibody response was also observed after administration of alum-GTF with the P. gingivalis DNA either together or separately, indicating that physical complexing of antigen and DNA was not responsible for the reduction in antibody. Since TLR triggering by DNA induces synthesis of prospective suppressive factors (e.g., suppressor of cytokine signaling [SOCS]), the effects of P. gingivalis DNA and GTF exposure on rat splenocyte production of SOCS family molecules and inflammatory cytokines were investigated in vitro. P. gingivalis DNA significantly up-regulated SOCS1 and SOCS5 expression and down-regulated interleukin-10 expression by cultured splenocytes. These results suggested that DNA from periodontal disease-associated bacteria did not enhance, but in fact suppressed, the immune response to a protein antigen from cariogenic streptococci, potentially through suppressive SOCS components triggered by innate mechanisms.
Pure soluble, recombinant and synthetic antigens, despite their better tolerability, are unfortunately often much less immunogenic than live or killed whole organism vaccines. Thus, the move towards the development of safer subunit vaccines has created a major need for more potent adjuvants. In particular, there is an urgent need for adjuvants capable of boosting cellular (Th1) immunity but without unacceptable toxicity. The adjuvant activity of aluminium compounds (aluminium phosphate or hydroxide) was first described by Glenny and colleagues in 1926. Surprisingly, despite the description of over one hundred adjuvants in the scientific literature, alum remains the only adjuvant approved for human use in the USA. Unfortunately, alum has no effect on cellular immunity and is faced with increasing concerns regarding potential for cumulative aluminium toxicity. Why then has alum not been replaced in human vaccines? Despite the enormous number of candidates, potency has invariably been associated with increased toxicity, and this more than anything else has precluded their use, particularly in prophylactic vaccines where safety issues are paramount. Hence, there is a major unmet need for a safe efficacious adjuvant capable of boosting cellular plus humoral immunity. The extensive data on inulin-based adjuvants indicate that these are excellent candidates to replace alum as the adjuvant of choice for many vaccines. Particular advantages offered by inulin-based adjuvants is that they induce cellular in addition to humoral immunity and offer excellent safety, tolerability, ease of manufacture and formulation. Thus, adjuvants based on inulin have enormous potential for use in vaccines against both pathogens and cancer.
Adjuvant; Vaccine; Inulin; Complement; Cellular; Immune; Th1; Th2
Aluminium oxyhydroxide (alum), a nano-crystaline compound forming agglomerates, has been introduced in vaccine for its immunologic adjuvant effect in 1927. Alum is the most commonly used adjuvant in human and veterinary vaccines but mechanisms by which it stimulates immune responses remains incompletely understood. Although generally well tolerated, alum may occasionally cause disabling health problems in presumably susceptible individuals. A small proportion of vaccinated people present with delayed onset of diffuse myalgia, chronic fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, and exhibit very long-term persistence of alum-loaded macrophages at site of previous intra-muscular (i.m.) immunization, forming a granulomatous lesion called macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF). Clinical symptoms associated with MMF are paradigmatic of the recently delineated “autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants” (ASIA). The stereotyped cognitive dysfunction is reminiscent of cognitive deficits described in foundry workers exposed to inhaled Al particles. Alum safety concerns will largely depend on whether the compound remains localized at site of injection or may diffuse and accumulate in distant organs. Animal experiments indicate that biopersistent nanomaterials taken-up by monocytes-lineage cells in tissues, e.g. fluorescent alum surrogates, can first translocate to draining lymph nodes, and thereafter circulate in blood within phagocytes and reach the spleen, and, eventually, slowly accumulate in brain.
Adjuvants, Immunologic; adverse effects; Alum Compounds; adverse effects; Animals; Fasciitis; chemically induced; immunology; pathology; physiopathology; Humans; Myositis; chemically induced; immunology; pathology; physiopathology; Nanostructures; Phagocytes; metabolism; Syndrome
Recently, we have shown that a vaccine consisting of a purified preparation of the Chlamydia trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and Freund's adjuvant can protect mice against a genital challenge. Here, we wanted to determine if CpG motifs could be used as an immune modulator to the MOMP to induce protection in mice against an intranasal (i.n.) challenge. One-week-old BALB/c mice were immunized intramuscularly and subcutaneously either once or three times at 2-week intervals with MOMP and CpG suspended in aluminum hydroxide (alum). Negative controls received ovalbumin, CpG, and alum. Positive controls were immunized i.n. with C. trachomatis MoPn elementary bodies (EB). Six weeks after the last immunization, mice were challenged i.n. with 104 inclusion-forming units (IFU) of the C. trachomatis MoPn serovar. Mice that received MOMP, CpG, and alum had a strong immune response, as shown by a high titer of serum antibodies to Chlamydia and significant lymphoproliferation of T-cells following stimulation with C. trachomatis EB. After the i.n. challenge mice immunized with MOMP, CpG, and alum showed significantly less body weight loss than the corresponding control mice immunized with ovalbumin, CpG, and alum. Ten days after the challenge the animals were euthanized, their lungs were weighed, and the numbers of IFU in the lungs were determined. The average weight of the lungs of the mice immunized with MOMP, CpG, and alum was significantly less than average weight of the lungs of the mice immunized with ovalbumin, CpG, and alum. Also, the average number of IFU recovered per mouse immunized with MOMP, CpG, and alum was significantly less than the average number of IFU per mouse detected in the mice inoculated with ovalbumin, CpG, and alum. In conclusion, our data show that CpG sequences can be used as an effective adjuvant with the C. trachomatis MoPn MOMP to elicit a protective immune response in mice against a chlamydial respiratory challenge.
The potential of Leishmania major culture-derived soluble exogenous antigens (SEAgs) to induce a protective response in susceptible BALB/c mice challenged with L. major promastigotes was investigated. Groups of BALB/c mice were immunized with L. major SEAgs alone, L. major SEAgs coadministered with either alum (aluminum hydroxide gel) or recombinant murine interleukin-12 (rmIL-12), L. major SEAgs coadministered with both alum and rmIL-12, and L. major SEAgs coadministered with Montanide ISA 720. Importantly and surprisingly, the greatest and most consistent protection against challenge with L. major was seen in mice immunized with L. major SEAgs alone, in the absence of any adjuvant. Mice immunized with L. major SEAgs had significantly smaller lesions that at times contained more than 100-fold fewer parasites. When lymphoid cells from L. major SEAg-immunized mice were stimulated with leishmanial antigen in vitro, they proliferated and secreted a mixed profile of type 1 and type 2 cytokines. Finally, analyses with Western blot analyses and antibodies against three surface-expressed and secreted molecules of L. major (lipophosphoglycan, gp46/M2/PSA-2, and gp63) revealed that two of these molecules are present in L. major SEAgs, lipophosphoglycan and the molecules that associate with it and gp46/M2/PSA-2.
Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 agonists are known potent immunostimulatory compounds. These compounds can be formulated as part of novel adjuvants to enhance vaccine medicated immune responses. However, the contribution of the formulation to the innate in vivo activity of TLR4 agonist compounds is not well understood.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We evaluated synthetic TLR4 agonist Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA) for its effects on molecular and cellular innate immune responses in the murine model. Microarray techniques were used to compare the responses to GLA in an aqueous formulation or in an oil-in-water Stable Emulsion formulation (GLA-SE) versus either SE alone or the mineral salt aluminum hydroxide (alum) at the muscle injection site over multiple timepoints. In contrast to the minimal gene upregulation induced by SE and alum, both GLA and GLA-SE triggered MyD88- and TRIF-dependent gene expression. Genes for chemokines, cytokine receptors, signaling molecules, complement, and antigen presentation were also strongly upregulated by GLA and GLA-SE. These included chemokines for TH1-type T cells (CXCL9 and CXCL10) and mononuclear leukocytes (CCL2, CCL3) among others. GLA-SE induced stronger and more sustained gene upregulation than GLA in the muscle; GLA-SE induced genes were also detected in local draining lymph nodes and at lower levels in peripheral blood. Both GLA and GLA-SE resulted in increased cellular trafficking to the draining lymph nodes and upregulated MHC molecules and ICAM1 on local dendritic cells. GLA and GLA-SE transiently upregulated circulating MCP-1, TNFα, IFNγ and IP-10 in blood.
While GLA and GLA-SE activate a large number of shared innate genes and proteins, GLA-SE induces a quantitatively and qualitatively stronger response than GLA, SE or alum. The genes and proteins upregulated could be used to facilitate selection of appropriate adjuvant doses in vaccine formulations.
Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 3 is a malaria vaccine candidate that was identified, characterised, and developed based on a unique immuno-clinical approach. The vaccine construct was derived from regions fully conserved among various strains and containing B cell epitopes targeted by human antibodies (from malaria-immune adults) that are able to mediate a monocyte-dependent parasite killing effect. The corresponding long synthetic peptide was administered to 36 volunteers, with either alum or Montanide ISA720 as adjuvant.
Methods and Findings
Both formulations induced cellular and humoral immune responses. With alum, the responses lasted up to 12 mo. The vaccine-induced antibodies were predominantly of cytophilic classes, i.e., able to cooperate with effector cells. In vitro, the antibodies induced an inhibition of the P. falciparum erythrocytic growth in a monocyte-dependent manner, which was in most instances as high as or greater than that induced by natural antibodies from immune African adults. In vivo transfer of the volunteers' sera into P. falciparum–infected humanized SCID mice profoundly reduced or abrogated parasitaemia. These inhibitory effects were related to the antibody reactivity with the parasite native protein, which was seen in 60% of the volunteers, and remained in samples taken 12 mo postimmunisation.
This is the first malaria vaccine clinical trial to clearly demonstrate antiparasitic activity by vaccine-induced antibodies by both in vitro and in vivo methods. The results, showing the induction of long-lasting antibodies directed to a fully conserved polypeptide, also challenge current concepts about malaria vaccines, such as unavoidable polymorphism, low antigenicity, and poor induction of immune memory.
Functional assays suggest that MSP3-based vaccine elicits strong immune response in human volunteers.
Vaccination to protect against human infectious diseases may be enhanced by using adjuvants that can selectively stimulate immunoregulatory responses. In a murine model, a novel nanoparticulate adjuvant composed of calcium phosphate (CAP) was compared with the commonly used aluminum (alum) adjuvants for its ability to induce immunity to herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections. Results indicated that CAP was more potent as an adjuvant than alum, elicited little or no inflammation at the site of administration, induced high titers of immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) antibody and neutralizing antibody, and facilitated a high percentage of protection against HSV-2 infection. Additional benefits of CAP include (i) an insignificant IgE response, which is an important advantage over injection of alum compounds, and (ii) the fact that CAP is a natural constituent of the human body. Thus, CAP is very well tolerated and absorbed. These studies were performed with animal models. By virtue of the potency of this CAP adjuvant and the relative absence of side effects, we believe that this new CAP formulation has great potential for use as an adjuvant in humans.
Alum, the only adjuvant approved for clinical applications, can induce strong humoral (Th2) but weak cellular (Th1) immune responses. It is necessary to develop safe and effective adjuvants capable of inducing both humoral and cellular immune responses. We previously showed that activation-associated protein-1 (ASP-1) derived from Onchocerca volvulus has potent adjuvant activity. In this study, we have further evaluated the adjuvanticity of recombinant ASP-1 using a panel of recombinant proteins or synthetic peptide-based antigens, including ovalbumin (OVA), synthetic HIV peptide (HIV-p), recombinant HIV gp41 (rgp41) and HBV HBsAg, as well as three commercially available inactivated vaccines against haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), Influenza and Rabies. Our results indicate that ASP-1 induced significantly higher IgG1 (Th2-associated) and IgG2a (Th1-associated) responses than alum adjuvant against OVA antigen, HIV-p, and rgp41. Consistently, it induced similar level of IgG1 responses as alum but higher level of IgG2a and IFN-γ-producing T cell responses than alum adjuvant against HBsAg. Further, ASP-1 improved both IgG1 and IgG2a responses to three commercial inactivated vaccines when used separately or in combination. In conclusion, the recombinant ASP-1, unlike alum adjuvant, is able to induce both Th1 and Th2-associated humoral responses and Th1 cellular responses, suggesting that it can be further developed as a promising adjuvant for subunit-based and inactivated vaccines.
Adjuvant; Onchocerca volvulus; Activation-associated protein-1; Vaccine
Aluminum hydroxide (alum) is the most widely used adjuvant in human vaccines. Nevertheless, it is virtually unknown whether alum acts on B cells. In the present study, we explored the direct effect of alum on Ig expression by murine B cells in vitro. LPS-activated mouse spleen B cells were cultured with alum, and the level of isotype-specific Ig secretion, IgG1 secreting cell numbers, and Ig germ-line transcripts (GLT) were measured using ELISA, ELISPOT, and RT-PCR, respectively. Alum consistently enhanced total IgG1 production, numbers of IgG1 secreting cells, and GLTγ1 expression. These results demonstrate that alum can directly cause IgG1 isotype switching leading to IgG1 production.
Alum; IgG1; B lymphocyte; Isotype switch
B. anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax. Pathogenesis is primarily mediated through the exotoxins lethal factor and edema factor, which bind protective antigen (PA) to gain entry into the host cell. The current anthrax vaccine (AVA, Biothrax™) consists of aluminum-adsorbed cell-free filtrates of unencapsulated B. anthracis, wherein PA is thought to be the principle target of neutralization. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the natural adjuvant, C3d, versus alum in eliciting an anti-PA humoral response and found that C3d conjugation to PA and emulsion in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) imparted superior protection from anthrax challenge relative to PA in IFA or PA adsorbed to alum. Relative to alum-PA, immunization of mice with C3d-PA/IFA augmented both the onset and sustained production of PA-specific antibodies, including neutralizing antibodies to the receptor-binding portion (domain 4) of PA. C3d-PA/IFA was efficacious when administered either i.p. or s.c., and in adolescent mice lacking a fully mature B cell compartment. Induction of PA-specific antibodies by C3d-PA/IFA correlated with increased efficiency of germinal center formation and plasma cell generation. Importantly, C3d-PA immunization effectively protected mice from intranasal challenge with B. anthracis spores, and was approximately 10-fold more effective than alum-PA immunization or PA/IFA based on dose challenge. These data suggest that incorporation of C3d as an adjuvant may overcome shortcomings of the currently licensed aluminum-based vaccine, and may confer protection in the early days following acute anthrax exposure.
Porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) of Cook Biotech is licensed and widely used for tissue remodeling in humans. SIS was shown to be highly effective as an adjuvant in model studies with prostate and ovarian cancer vaccines. However, SIS adjuvanticity relative to alum, another important human-licensed adjuvant, has not yet been delineated in terms of activation of innate immunity via inflammasomes and boosting of antibody responses to soluble proteins and hapten-protein conjugates. We used ovalbumin, and a hapten-protein conjugate, phthalate-keyhole limpet hemocyanin. The evaluation of SIS was conducted in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice using both intraperitoneal and subcutaneous routes. Inflammatory responses were studied by microarray profiling of chemokines and cytokines and by qPCR of inflammasomes-related genes. Results showed that SIS affected cytokine and chemokines microenvironments such as up-regulation of IL-4 and CD30-ligand and activation of chemotactic factors LIX and KC (neutrophil chemotactic factors), MCP-1 (monocytes chemotactic factors), MIP 1-α (macrophage chemotactic factor) and lymphotactin, as well as, growth factors like M-CSF. SIS also promoted gene expression of Nod-like receptors (NLR) and associated downstream effectors. However, in contrast to alum, SIS had no effects on pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α) or NLRP3, but it appeared to promote both Th1 and Th2 responses under different conditions. Lastly, it was as effective as alum in engendering a lasting and specific antibody response, primarily of IgG1 type.
Vaccination of mice with yeast-secreted Plasmodium yoelii-derived 19-kilodalton merozoite surface protein 1 (yMSP119) has been shown to afford protection from challenge with a lethal strain of P. yoelii. Sterile immunity can be achieved when MSP119 is emulsified in Freund adjuvant but not when it is adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide gel (alum). Because complete Freund adjuvant is not an acceptable adjuvant for use in humans, alternative adjuvants must be identified for formulating MSP119 as a vaccine for use in humans. To determine whether oligodeoxynucleotides with CpG motifs (ODN), reported to be a powerful new class of adjuvants, could enhance the immunogenicity of yMSP119, C57BL/6 mice were vaccinated either with yMSP119 formulated with Freund adjuvant, with alum, or with ODN plus alum and challenged intravenously with P. yoelii 17XL asexual blood-stage parasites. Adsorption of immunogen and adjuvant to alum was optimized by adjusting buffer (phosphate versus acetate) and pH. We found that the adjuvant combination of ODN plus alum with yMSP119, injected intraperitoneally (i.p.), increased immunoglobulin G (IgG) yMSP119-specific antibody production 12-fold over Freund adjuvant given i.p., 3-fold over Freund adjuvant given subcutaneously (s.c.), 300-fold over alum given i.p., and 48-fold over alum given s.c. The predominant antibody isotype in the group receiving alum-ODN-yMSP119 was IgG1. Increased antibody levels correlated to protection from a challenge with P. yoelii 17XL. Supernatant cytokine levels of gamma interferon in yMSP119-stimulated splenocytes were dramatically elevated in the alum-ODN-yMSP119 group. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels were also elevated; however, no IL-5 was detected. The cytokine profile, as well as the predominant IgG1 antibody isotype, suggests the protective immune response was a mixed Th1/Th2 response.