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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Oct;32(10):2857-65.

The Mycoplasma-derived lipopeptide MALP-2 is a potent mucosal adjuvant.

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Vaccine Research Group, Division of Microbiology, GBF-German Research Center for Biotechnology, Mascheroder Weg 1, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany.


The adjuvanticity of MALP-2, a 2-kDa synthetic lipopeptide with macrophage-stimulatory activity, was evaluated in BALB/c mice using beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) as model antigen. When co-administered with beta-gal by either the intranasal (i.n.) or i.p. route, MALP-2 (0.5 microg) was capable of increasing beta-gal-specific serum IgG titers by 675-3,560-fold (i.n.) and 64-128-fold (i.p.), respectively, as compared to immunization with beta-gal alone. Using MALP-2, almost maximal IgG responses were already stimulated following the first immunization, and the IgG titers were similar to those observed using 10 microg of cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) as adjuvant. The mucosal immune system was also effectively stimulated (p<0.05) when MALP-2 was administered by the i.n. route (36% and 23% of beta-gal-specific IgA in lung and vaginal lavages, respectively). The i.n. co-administration of MALP-2 stimulated a stronger cellular immune response than CTB, both in submandibular lymph nodes and spleen (p<0.05). The analysis of beta-gal-specific IgG isotypes and the profiles of cytokines secreted by in vitro re-stimulated cells showed that co-administration of MALP-2 triggered a dominant Th2-response pattern. A recruitment of B220(+) and MAC-1(+) cells with an up-regulated expression of MHC class I, CD80 (B7.1) and CD54 (ICAM-1) was observed in nasal associated lymphoid tissues from MALP-2 treated mice. Taken together, our results demonstrated that the synthetic lipopeptide MALP-2 represents a very promising adjuvant for the mucosal delivery of vaccine antigens.

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