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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 798164, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/798164
Research Article

Helminth Protein Vaccine Induced Follicular T Helper Cell for Enhancement of Humoral Immunity against Schistosoma japonicum

1State Key Laboratory for Agro-Biotechnology, College of Biological Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
2Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology of MOH and MOE, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai 200032, China

Received 8 July 2013; Revised 29 August 2013; Accepted 12 September 2013

Academic Editor: Ernesto S. Nakayasu

Copyright © 2013 Jingyao Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Protein vaccines combined with adjuvants have been widely used to induce immune responses, especially the humoral immune response, against molecular targets including parasites. Follicular T helper (Tfh) cells are the specialized providers of B-cell help, however, the induction of Tfh cells in protein vaccination has been rarely studied. Here, we report that the Schistosoma japonicum recombinant protein (SjGST-32) combined with tacrolimus (FK506) augmented the induction of Tfh cells, which expressed the canonical markers CXCR5, BCL6, and IL-21, and enhanced the humoral immune responses in BALB/c mice. Furthermore, the expression of IL-21R on germinal center (GC) B cells and memory B cells increased in immunized mice, which indicated that IL-21 from the induced Tfh cells interacted with IL-21R for activation of B cells and maintenance of long-lived humoral immunity. Our results suggest that helminth protein vaccine combined with FK506 induces Tfh cell for stimulating humoral immune responses and inducing long-lived humoral immunity.