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Pharm Res. 2007 Oct;24(10):1927-35. Epub 2007 May 31.

A protective allergy vaccine based on CpG- and protamine-containing PLGA microparticles.

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  • 1Unit for Experimental Immunotherapy, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich, Gloriastrasse 31, 8091, Zurich, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • Pharm Res. 2008 Mar;25(3):710.



Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) requires dozens of subcutaneous injections over 3 to 5 years in order to control IgE-mediated hypersensitivity, which is a T-helper 2 (Th2)-associated pathology. This study investigates the use of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microparticles combined with immunostimulatory oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG), as well as protamine in SIT.


We prepared microparticle formulations with the major allergen of bee venom, phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and analyzed the effect of co-encapsulated or admixed CpG in both naïve and bee venom allergic mice.


Mice immunized with microparticles containing only PLA2 induced weak antibody responses. In contrast, the combination with CpG resulted in strong PLA2-specific antibody responses. The presence of CpG was required for the induction of the Th1-associated isotype IgG2a, and the titers of IgG2a in sensitized mice correlated with a better protection against an allergen challenge. The effect of CpG was further strengthened when protamine was co-encapsulated for complexation of CpG.


This study shows that allergen-specific immunotherapy with a PLGA-based allergen-delivery system in combination with CpG enhanced the induction of protective IgG2a immune responses. This may improve SIT compliance and shorten its duration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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