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A complex of lactoferrin with monophosphoryl lipid A is an efficient adjuvant of the humoral and cellular immune response in mice

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Our recent investigations demonstrated adjuvant properties of lactoferrin (LF). Other studies proved efficacy and safety of monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) as an adjuvant in humans. In an attempt to construct more efficient and safer adjuvants, we evaluated the activity of LF-MPL complex, formed by incubation of LF and MPL from Hafnia alvei at 20:1 w/w ratio, and verified its characteristics by SDS-PAGE analysis. Binding kinetics was determined by surface plasmon resonance analysis using a BIAcoreTM 1000 biosensor system. The efficiency of the complex in enhancing the humoral and cellular immune responses was analyzed in BALB/c mice. The complex stimulated the humoral immune response to ovalbumin (OVA) and sheep red blood cells significantly stronger than both components separately, used at respective doses. In addition, the complex increased the serum levels of IgG, IgG2a and IgG1 OVA-specific antibodies as compared to the actions of LF or MPL alone. In the model of delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) the strongest immune response was demonstrated with OVA administered subcutaneously, admixed with the complex. Administration of the complex in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant, together with a sensitizing dose of antigen, was similarly effective as immunization with complete Freund’s adjuvant. The complex also significantly enhanced the DTH response to orally administered Calmette-Guérin bacilli. In summary, the new type of adjuvant, the LF-MPL complex, was described. Its activity surpassed the adjuvant action of both constituents tested separately in the humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. The plausible mode of action of the new adjuvant is discussed.

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Correspondence to Michal Zimecki.

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Chodaczek, G., Zimecki, M., Lukasiewicz, J. et al. A complex of lactoferrin with monophosphoryl lipid A is an efficient adjuvant of the humoral and cellular immune response in mice. Med Microbiol Immunol 195, 207–216 (2006).

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  • Adjuvant
  • Lactoferrin
  • Monophosphoryl lipid A
  • DTH