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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 18;8(6):e66134. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066134. Print 2013.

IFN-α as an Adjuvant for Adenovirus-Vectored FMDV Subunit Vaccine through Improving the Generation of T Follicular Helper Cells.

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School of Basic Medical Sciences, Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia, China.


IFN-α exhibits either direct antiviral effects or distinct immunomodulatory properties, which was identified as a 'natural immune adjuvant' for both the innate and the adaptive immune responses. Here we have investigated the effects of IFN-α as an adjuvant on the generation of T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and antigen-specific antibody responses. The data showed that adenoviral vectors co-expressing FMDV VP1 proteins and porcine IFN-α potently enhanced the generation of Tfh cells, the secretion of IL-21 protein and the expression of Bcl-6 mRNA, compared with adenoviral vectors sole expressing VP1 alone. Additionally, IFN-α substantial increased the number of germinal-center (GC) B cells and formation of GCs. Furthermore, IFN-α enhanced the antibody response, as shown by increased production of all IgG and subclasses of IgG1 and IgG2a. Thus, our results revealed the potent adjuvant activity of IFN-α which enhanced the generation of Tfh cells and regulated the humoral immunity by promoting germinal-center reactions and antibody responses.

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