The Adjuvancy of Silicones: Dependency on Compartmentalization

  • P. C. Klykken
  • K. L. WhiteJr.
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 210)


Studies have been conducted in mice (B6C3F1) and rats (Sprague Dawley, Fischer 344) to investigate the adjuvancy potential of silicone mammary gel and the low molecular weight silicone fluid, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4). Dependent on the experimental conditions employed, a divergent data profile emerges. If the antigen (bovine serum albumin, BSA) is emulsified with either the gel or the D4 prior to intramuscular immunization, an amplified anti-BSA IgG antibody response, as measured by multipoint ELISA methodology, is noted over the 8 week measurement period. In parallel studies, a variety of non-silicone personal care ingredients (lanolin, white mineral oil, isopropyl palmitate) were also capable of amplifying this humoral response relative to the non-adjuvant phosphate buffered saline control. These observations are consistent with the empirical knowledge that hydrophobic substances tend to augment immune responses. However, under conditions in which the antigen is not blended with the silicone prior to immunization, normal immune responses are noted. In short (10 day) and long (180 day) term gel implant studies, the optimal IgM and IgG antibody responses, as determined in the antibody forming cell assay, were equivalent between the gel implanted and control animals. Moreover, under similar exposure conditions, no adjuvancy was noted in the three Host Resistance models (B16F10 Melanoma, Listeria monocytogenes, and Streptococcus pneumoniae) tested. Antibody forming cell studies conducted after 28 days of oral or inhalation exposure to D4 have also yielded responses similar to the non-silicone exposed vehicle controls. Collectively, these data suggest that in the absence of premixing the antigen with the silicone test material, there does not appear to be any silicone induced adjuvant response.


Listeria Monocytogenes Sheep Erythrocyte Antibody Form Cell Cobra Venom Factor Intramuscular Immunization 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Klykken
    • 1
  • K. L. WhiteJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Dow Corning CorporationUSA
  2. 2.Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth UniversityUSA

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