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Clin Immunol. 2003 Mar;106(3):231-7.

Interaction of papillomavirus virus-like particles with human myeloid antigen-presenting cells.

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Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4040, USA.


Papillomavirus-like particles (VLPs) are potent inducers of humoral and cellular immune responses, making them attractive candidates for noninfectious viral subunit vaccines. To further our understanding of how VLPs activate the immune system, we have investigated their interaction with human myeloid antigen-presenting cells. We found that VLPs bound, with increasing density, to the cell surface of human monocytes, macrophages, and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). Interestingly, there was a negative correlation between binding intensity and CD83 expression in DCs, suggesting that the main receptor for binding of VLPs may be downregulated during maturation. Exposure to VLPs resulted in acute phenotypic activation of monocytes and DCs. Furthermore, VLPs rapidly induced production of inflammatory cytokines in monocytes, macrophages, and DCs, as assessed by intracellular cytokine staining. For each cell type, the patterns of interleukin-1beta, interleukin-12, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 production were distinct from the pattern induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial activator of myeloid antigen-presenting cells. Our results indicate that VLPs target multiple cells of the immune system, which helps to account for VLPs being so effective in priming humoral and cellular immune responses even in the absence of adjuvant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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