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J Immunol. 2012 Dec 15;189(12):5612-21. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202151. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Suppression of vaccine immunity by inflammatory monocytes.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


Vaccine adjuvant-induced inflammation augments vaccine immunity in part by recruiting APCs to vaccine draining lymph nodes (LNs). However, the role of one APC subtype, inflammatory monocytes, in regulating vaccine immunity in healthy animals has not been fully examined in detail. Therefore, vaccine-mediated monocyte recruitment and subsequent immune responses were investigated using murine vaccination models and in vitro assays. Recruitment of inflammatory monocytes to vaccine draining LNs was rapid and mediated primarily by local production of MCP-1, as revealed by studies in MCP-1(-/-) mice. Interrupting monocyte recruitment to LNs by either transient monocyte depletion or monocyte migration blockade led to marked amplification of both cellular and humoral immune responses to vaccination. These results were most consistent with the idea that rapidly mobilized inflammatory monocytes were actually suppressing vaccine responses. The suppressive nature of vaccine-elicited monocytes was confirmed using in vitro cocultures of murine monocytes and T cells. Furthermore, it was determined that inflammatory monocytes suppressed T cell responses by sequestering cysteine, as cysteine supplementation in vitro and in vivo appreciably augmented vaccine responses. These findings indicated, therefore, that vaccination-elicited inflammation, although necessary for effective immunity, also generated potent counter-regulatory immune responses that were mediated primarily by inflammatory monocytes. Therefore, interrupting monocyte-mediated vaccine counterregulatory responses may serve as an effective new strategy for broadly amplifying vaccine immunity.

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