VACCINE ADJUVANTS
(see also vaccines, therapeutic vaccines, DNA vaccines and RNA vaccines)

As late as 1989, Janeway aptly called adjuvants: "the immunologist's dirty little secret". This statement reflected the ignorance on the mechanisms of action of most known adjuvants. Yet, rational vaccine design involves a logical choice of adjuvant based on a knowledge of their mode of action and their effects on product efficacy and safety. However, even today the key processes critical for immune induction in general and those evoked by vaccine adjuvants in particular are being disputed among immunologists. The 4 most important concepts likely to explain some of the mechanisms of vaccine adjuvants. They include:

This enables the use of less Ag to achieve the desired immune response, reducing vaccine production costs. With a few exceptions, adjuvants are foreign to the body and cause adverse reactions. These paradigms are based on observations gathered in mammalian species, largely in murine models. In aquatic animals the processes underlying immune induction will at least partly overlap those in mammals. However, due to inherent species differences, certain pathways may be different. Rational vaccine design, a difficult goal in mammals, is further hampered in aquatic animals by the lack of immunological tools in these speciestref. Vaccine delivery : Antigen delivery : Ganoderma lucidum (GL) is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbs in the oriental community, with more than 30% of pediatric cancer patients taking GL. The immunomodulating and anticancer effects exerted by GL extracts have been demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo studies. There was, however, no comparison between the immunomodulating effects of GL mycelium extract (GL-M) and spore extracts on human immune cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells and their role in DC-based tumor vaccine has been well defined. The possibility of GL as natural adjuvant for human DCs remains unknown. A study explored the differential effect of GL-M and GL spore extract (GL-S) on proliferation and Th1/Th2 cytokine mRNA expression of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and monocytes. Their effects on the phenotypic and functional maturation of human monocyte-derived DCs were also investigated. GL-M induced the proliferation of PBMCs and monocytes, whereas GL-S showed a mild suppressive effect. Both extracts could stimulate Th1 and Th2 cytokine mRNA expression, but GL-M was a relatively stronger Th1 stimulator. Different from GL-S, GL-M enhanced maturation of DCs in terms of upregulation of CD40, CD80, and CD86, and also reduced fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran endocytosis. Interestingly, GLM- treated DCs only modestly enhanced lymphocyte proliferation in allogenic mixed lymphocyte culture with mild enhancement in Th development. These findings provide evidences that GL-M has immunomodulating effects on human immune cells and therefore can be used as a natural adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy with DCsref.

Tolerance inducing mechanisms reduce the levels of therapeutic antibodies in the vaccinated subject, and anti-self antibody titers are frequently > 50-fold lower than the anti-non-self response to the carrier. In order to overcome this limitation in efficacy we have explored various methods to enhance the immunogenicity of the vaccine antigen. Vaccination with a molecule containing two IgE Cvare3 domains and thereby a low level of repetitiveness markedly increased the efficacy. The anti-IgE antibody titers in the animals treated with the dimeric vaccine antigen were 4.5, 5 and 8 times higher than in the animals treated with the monomer, in three independent experiments. In addition, this increase in efficacy was not masked by the use of potent adjuvants. The effect persisted even in the presence of Freunds or Montanide ISA 51, 2 mineral oil based adjuvants. This in contrast to most TLR agonists, which appear to enhance the immune response only when administrated together with weak adjuvants. This clearly shows that the introduction of a moderately repetitive structure is enough to substantially increase the efficacy of a therapeutic vaccineref

C57BL/6 mice were fed a 5% or 20% casein diet for 30 d. The mice were immunized with an ovalubumin (OVA)-expression plasmid by the gene gun-based method 3 times at 10-d intervals. Body weight and serum albumin concentration in protein-deficient mice were significantly lower than those in mice fed the 20% casein diet (p<0.01, p<0.05). The percentage of OVA-specific CD8+ T cells was significantly decreased in the 5% casein group compared to that in the 20% casein group (p<0.05). Furthermore, CD4+ T cells from mice fed the low-protein diet showed lower IL-2 production than did those from the 20% group. In contrast to the T-cell function, protein deficiency did not affect OVA-specific Ab responses (p>0.05). Protein deficiency impairs the induction of Ag-specific T-cell but not B-cell response in DNA-immunized mice. Our observation indicates that, in addition to development of an effective of DNA vaccine, the management of nutritional state is important for the prevention of infectious disease by DNA vaccinationref.

UV-inactivated, replication-defective Sendai virus particles [hemagglutinating virus of Japan envelope (HVJ-E)] injected into murine colon carcinoma (CT26) tumors growing in syngeneic BALB/c mice eradicated 60% to 80% of the tumors and obviously inhibited the growth of the remainder. Induced adaptive antitumor immune responses were dominant in the tumor eradication process because the effect was abrogated in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Murine and human dendritic cells underwent dose-dependent maturation by HVJ-E in vitro. Profiles of cytokines secreted by dendritic cells after HVJ-E stimulation showed that the amount of IL-6 released was comparable to that elicited by live HVJ. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that HVJ-E induced a remarkable infiltration of dendritic cells and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells into tumors. In addition, CT26-specific CTLs were induced with the evidence of enhanced CD8+ T-cell activation in a CD4+CD25- T cell-dependent manner. On the other hand, conditioned medium from dendritic cells stimulated by HVJ-E rescued CD4+CD25- effector T-cell proliferation from Foxp3+CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell (Treg)-mediated suppression and IL-6 was presumably dominant for this phenomenon. Such rescue was also confirmed in mice treated with HVJ-E in vivo. Moreover, antitumor effect of HVJ-E was significantly reduced by an in vivo blockade of IL-6 signaling. HVJ-E alone can eradicate tumors and the mechanism through which it induces antitumor immune responses. Because it can enhance antitumor immunity and simultaneously remove Treg-mediated suppression, HVJ-E shows promise as a novel therapeutic for cancer immunotherapyref.

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