Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 491–502 | Cite as

Liposomes in immunology

  • Nahid Latif
  • Bimal Kumar Bachhawat


Liposomes, the artificial phospholipid vesicles, have the capacity of entrapping water soluble substances in their aqueous compartments. Of the many possible potentials of liposomes their application in immunology is most significant. Recent studies have shown an adjuvant and a carrier effect of liposomes to a number of antigens. Liposomes used in these studies are generally multilamellar vesicles with the antigen encapsulated in the aqueous phase. Some antigens may also be associated with the lipid lamellae covalently or noncovalently. The adjuvant property of liposomes is greatly affected by the surface charge of the vesicle as well as the site of association of the antigen. The other factors which may have a role in immunopotentiation by liposomes are the size and structure of the vesicles, the lipid composition, route of administration and their surface sugars. In addition, liposomes may function as carriers to haptens and other antigens. In association with liposomes the nature of the immune response may be modulated. For a further enhancement of the adjuvant activity of liposomes use has been made of immunomodulators.


Liposomes adjuvant protein antigens 

Abbreviations used


Complete Freund’s adjuvant


incomplete Freund’s adjuvant


multilamellar vesicle




succinimydl β-(2-pyridyldithiopropionate)


bovine serum albumin


gross cell surface antigen


unilamellar vesicles


dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine


distearyl phosphatidyl-choline


muramyl dipeptide


macrophage-activating factor


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahid Latif
    • 1
  • Bimal Kumar Bachhawat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Enzyme EngineeringIndian Institute of Chemical BiologyCalcuttaIndia

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