Differential immune activation following encapsulation of immunostimulatory CpG oligodeoxynucleotide in nanoliposomes
The immunogenicity of a vaccine formulation is closely related to the effective internalization by the innate immune cells that provide prolonged and simultaneous delivery of antigen and adjuvant to relevant antigen presenting cells. Endosome associated TLR9 recognizes microbial unmethylated CpG DNA. Clinical applications of TLR9 ligands are significantly hampered due to their pre-mature in vivo digestion and rapid clearance. Liposome encapsulation is a powerful tool to increase in vivo stability as well as enhancing internalization of its cargo to relevant immune cells. The present study established that encapsulating CpG motifs in different liposomes having different physicochemical properties altered not only encapsulation efficiency, but also the release and delivery rates that ultimately impacted in vitro and ex-vivo cytokine production rates and types. Moreover, different liposomes encapsulating CpG ODN significantly increased Th1-biased cytokines and chemokines gene transcripts Additional studies demonstrated that co-stimulatory and surface marker molecules significantly upregulated upon liposome/CpG injection. Finally, co-encapsulating model antigen ovalbumin with CpG ODN adjuvant in nanoliposomes profoundly augmented Th1 and cell mediated anti-Ova specific immune response. Collectively, this work established an unappreciated immunoregulatory property of nanoliposomes mediating immunity against protein antigen and could be harnessed to design more effective therapeutic vaccines or stand alone immunoprotective agents targeting infectious diseases, as well as cancer or allergy. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.