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Immunol Cell Biol. 2004 Dec;82(6):603-10.

Novel adjuvant based on a proteoliposome-derived cochleate structure containing native lipopolysaccharide as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern.

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Immunology Department, Finlay Institute, Havana, Cuba.

Erratum in

  • Immunol Cell Biol. 2005 Apr;83(2):200. Turtle, Cameron [added].


Proteoliposomes (PL) from Neisseria meningitidis B have been widely used as a core antigen for antimeningococcal vaccination. PL contain major outer membrane proteins, LPS and phospholipids, and they induce a strong Th1 immune response, but they have low stability in solution. Attending to the need for new vaccine adjuvants, we developed a highly stable cochleate structure (CS) from PL using a technology that allows easy incorporation of new antigens. We explored the ability of PLCS to activate the immune system and its possible application as an adjuvant for parenteral and mucosal routes. Our results showed that PLCS were able to upregulate the expression of MHC class II and costimulatory molecules on human dendritic cells, as well as being able to stimulate the production of soluble mediators of a Th1 response, such as IL-12 and nitric oxide. High levels of anti-PL IgG were detected in serum after i.m. or mucosal (oral and nasal) administration, but also anti-PL secretory IgA was produced in saliva following nasal delivery. The immune response polarization to a Th1 pattern was confirmed by the induction of IgG2a antibodies, positive delayed type hypersensitivity reactions, and IFN-gamma production by splenocytes from immunized mice. The adjuvant potential was explored using PLCS containing ovalbumin (Ova). PLCS-Ova was able to elicit a substantial increase in anti-Ova IgG compared with Ova alone. In addition, a significant reduction in lesion size was observed in mice immunized with Leishmania major antigens in PLCS after challenge with virulent protozoa, suggesting at least partial modulation of the Th2 environment induced by this parasite. In conclusion, our results support the use of PLCS as a potent Th1 adjuvant for parenteral and mucosal vaccines.

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