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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 614383, 6 pages
Research Article

Humoral Immune Response to Keyhole Limpet Haemocyanin, the Protein Carrier in Cancer Vaccines

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Aurora Hospital, Building 5, 3rd floor, P.O. Box 348, 00029 Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
3Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-2170, USA
4Institute of Pathological Physiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, 12853 Prague 2, Czech Republic
5The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
6Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Turku, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland

Received 1 January 2011; Revised 16 March 2011; Accepted 30 March 2011

Academic Editor: Bernhard Moser

Copyright © 2011 A. Kantele 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.


Keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH) appears to be a promising protein carrier for tumor antigens in numerous cancer vaccine candidates. The humoral immune response to KLH was characterized at the single-cell level with ELISPOT combined with separations of cell populations according to their expression of homing receptors (HRs). The analysis of HR expressions is expected to reveal the targeting of the immune response in the body. Eight orally primed and four nonprimed volunteers received KLH-vaccine subcutaneously. Circulating KLH-specific plasmablasts were found in all volunteers, 60 KLH-specific plasmablasts/106 PBMC in the nonprimed and 136/106 in the primed group. The proportion of L-selectin+ plasmablasts proved high and integrin α4β7+ low. KLH serving as protein carrier in several vaccines, the homing profile of KLH-specific response may be applicable to the cancer antigen parts in the same vaccines. The present data reflect a systemic homing profile, which appears advantageous for the targeting of immune response to cancer vaccines.