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Int Immunol. 2013 Nov;25(11):623-32. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxt029. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Application of an M-cell-targeting ligand for oral vaccination induces efficient systemic and mucosal immune responses against a viral antigen.

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Department of Molecular Biology and the Institute for Molecular Biology and Genetics, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Korea.


Oral mucosal vaccination is an alternative method to overcome the pitfalls of current injection-based vaccines, such as pain and high cost of vaccination. It is a feasible and economic vaccine application, especially in developing countries. However, achieving effective antigen delivery into mucosal lymphoid organs and efficient immune stimulation are prerequisites to successful oral mucosal vaccination. One promising approach for oral mucosal vaccine development is exploring the potential of M cells via M-cell-targeting ligands that have the potential to deliver ligand-conjugated antigens into mucosal lymphoid organs and evoke conjugated-antigen-specific systemic and mucosal immune responses. Here, we investigated the M-cell-targeting ligand, Co1, in inducing specific immune responses against a pathogenic viral antigen, envelope domain III (EDIII) of dengue virus, to provide the foundation for oral mucosal vaccine development against the pathogen. After oral administration of Co1-conjugated EDIII antigens, we observed efficient antigen delivery into Peyer's patches. We also report the elicitation of EDIII-specific immunity in systemic and mucosal compartments by Co1 ligand (located in the C-terminus of EDIII). Furthermore, the antibodies induced by the ligand-conjugated EDIII antigen showed effective virus-neutralizing activity. The results of this study suggest that the M-cell-targeting strategy using Co1 ligand as a mucosal adjuvant may be applicable for developing oral vaccine candidates against pathogenic viral antigen.


adjuvant; dengue virus; ligand; mucosal immunity; vaccine

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