The nasal dendritic cell-targeting Flt3 ligand as a safe adjuvant elicits effective protection against fatal pneumococcal pneumonia

Academic Article


  • We have previously shown that a pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA)-based vaccine containing DNA plasmid encoding the Flt3 ligand (FL) gene (pFL) as a nasal adjuvant prevented nasal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae. In this study, we further investigated the safety and efficacy of this nasal vaccine for the induction of PspA-specific antibody (Ab) responses against lung infection with S. pneumoniae. C57BL/6 mice were nasally immunized with recombinant PspA/Rx1 (rPspA) plus pFL three times at weekly intervals. When dynamic translocation of pFL was initially examined, nasal pFL was taken up by nasal dendritic cells (DCs) and epithelial cells (nECs) but not in the central nervous systems, including olfactory nerve and epithelium. Of importance, nasal pFL induced FL protein synthesis with minimum levels of inflammatory cytokines in the nasal washes (NWs) and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). NWs and BALF as well as plasma of mice given nasal rPspA plus pFL contained increased levels of rPspA-specific secretory IgA and IgG Ab responses that were correlated with elevated numbers of CD8 + and CD11b + DCs and interleukin 2 (IL-2)- and IL-4-producing CD4 + T cells in the nasal mucosaassociated lymphoid tissues (NALT) and cervical lymph nodes (CLNs). The in vivo protection by rPspAspecific Abs was evident in markedly reduced numbers of CFU in the lungs, airway secretions, and blood when mice were nasally challenged with Streptococcus pneumoniae WU2. Our findings show that nasal pFL is a safe and effective mucosal adjuvant for the enhancement of bacterial antigen (Ag) (rPspA)-specific protective immunity through DC-induced Th2-type and IL-2 cytokine responses. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.
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    Author List

  • Kataoka K; Fujihashi K; Oma K; Fukuyama Y; Hollingshead SK; Sekine S; Kawabata S; Ito HO; Briles DE; Oishi K
  • Start Page

  • 2819
  • End Page

  • 2828
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 7