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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 797421, 12 pages
Research Article

Prophylactic mRNA Vaccination against Allergy Confers Long-Term Memory Responses and Persistent Protection in Mice

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Received 25 June 2015; Revised 24 August 2015; Accepted 3 September 2015

Academic Editor: Sebastian Kreiter

Copyright © 2015 E. Hattinger 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.


Recently, mRNA vaccines have been introduced as a safety-optimized alternative to plasmid DNA-based vaccines for protection against allergy. However, it remained unclear whether the short persistence of this vaccine type would limit memory responses and whether the protective immune response type would be maintained during recurrent exposure to allergen. We tested the duration of protective memory responses in mice vaccinated with mRNA encoding the grass pollen allergen Phl p 5 by challenging them with recombinant allergen, 3.5, 6, and 9 months after vaccination. In a second experiment, vaccinated mice were repeatedly challenged monthly with aerosolized allergen over a period of 7 months. Antibody and cytokine responses as well as lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness were assessed. mRNA vaccination induced robust TH1 memory responses for at least 9 months. Vaccination efficiently suppressed TH2 cytokines, IgE responses, and lung eosinophilia. Protection was maintained after repeated exposure to aerosolized allergen and no TH1 associated pathology was observed. Lung function remained improved compared to nonvaccinated controls. Our data clearly indicate that mRNA vaccination against Phl p 5 induces robust, long-lived memory responses, which can be recalled by allergen exposure without side effects. mRNA vaccines fulfill the requirements for safe prophylactic vaccination without the need for booster immunizations.