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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 834326, 7 pages
Research Article

Tomatine Adjuvantation of Protective Immunity to a Major Pre-erythrocytic Vaccine Candidate of Malaria is Mediated via T Cell Release of IFN-

1Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, UK

Received 1 August 2009; Revised 26 October 2009; Accepted 8 January 2010

Academic Editor: Abhay R. Satoskar

Copyright © 2010 Karen G. Heal and Andrew W. Taylor-Robinson. 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.


The glycoalkaloid tomatine, derived from the wild tomato, can act as a powerful adjuvant to elicit an antigen-specific cell-mediated immune response to the circumsporozoite (CS) protein, a major pre-erythrocytic stage malaria vaccine candidate antigen. Using a defined MHC-class-I-restricted CS epitope in a Plasmodium berghei rodent model, antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity and IFN- secretion ex vivo were both significantly enhanced compared to responses detected from similarly stimulated splenocytes from naive and tomatine-saline-immunized mice. Further, through lymphocyte depletion it is demonstrated that antigen-specific IFN- is produced exclusively by the T cell subset. We conclude that the processing of the P. berghei CS peptide as an exogenous antigen and its presentation via MHC class I molecules to T cells leads to an immune response that is an in vitro correlate of protection against pre-erythrocytic malaria. Further characterization of tomatine as an adjuvant in malaria vaccine development is indicated.