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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2017 Dec;69(12):1724-1735. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12814. Epub 2017 Sep 5.

Liposomal α-galactosylceramide is taken up by gut-associated lymphoid tissue and stimulates local and systemic immune responses.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
2
Laboratory for Immunotherapy, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

α-Galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), a synthetic glycosphingolipid that exhibits potent immunostimulatory effects through activation of natural killer T (NKT) cells, can be used to treat conditions such as atopy, cancer, infection and autoimmunity. Administration of therapeutics through the oral route has advantages such as patient convenience, safety and reduced cost; however, there has been little research to investigate whether oral delivery of α-GalCer is possible. The aim of this study was therefore to determine whether α-GalCer formulated in either DMSO/Tween 80 or in liposomes, could access lymphoid tissue and stimulate immune activation following oral administration.

METHODS:

Fluorescently labelled cationic liposomes incorporating α-GalCer were prepared, characterized and administered by oral gavage to fasted mice.

KEY FINDINGS:

Liposomes were detected inside the Peyer's patches (PPs), in the subepithelial dome just under the follicle-associated epithelium. CD11b+ cells and CD11c+ were shown to have taken up the formulation in a higher proportion compared to the total cell proportion in the PPs, suggesting that cells with these markers may be the prominent antigen-presenting cells involved in selective uptake. Finally, the liposomal formulation demonstrated a higher degree of immune stimulation compared to the DMSO/Tween 80 solubilized α-GalCer in the PPs, mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen as shown by the increased expression of IL-4 mRNA expression and increased proportion of NKT cells at 6 h and 3 days after administration.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results show that oral delivery of a liposomal α-GalCer can stimulate local and systemic immune responses to a different degree compared to the non-liposomal form.

KEYWORDS:

Peyer's patch; liposome; oral administration; vaccine; α-galactosylceramide

PMID:
28872688
DOI:
10.1111/jphp.12814
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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