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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4156456, 8 pages
Research Article

A Fusion Protein Consisting of the Vaccine Adjuvant Monophosphoryl Lipid A and the Allergen Ovalbumin Boosts Allergen-Specific Th1, Th2, and Th17 Responses In Vitro

1Vice President’s Research Group 1: Molecular Allergology, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen, Hessen, Germany
2Division of Allergology, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, 63225 Langen, Germany
3Division of Microbiology, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, 63225 Langen, Germany

Received 7 March 2016; Revised 25 April 2016; Accepted 17 May 2016

Academic Editor: Leandro J. Carreño

Copyright © 2016 Stefan Schülke 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.


Background. The detoxified TLR4-ligand Monophosphoryl Lipid A (MPLA) is the first approved TLR-agonist used as adjuvant in licensed vaccines but has not yet been explored as part of conjugated vaccines. Objective. To investigate the immune-modulating properties of a fusion protein consisting of MPLA and Ovalbumin (MPLA : Ova). Results. MPLA and Ova were chemically coupled by stable carbamate linkage. MPLA : Ova was highly pure without detectable product-related impurities by either noncoupled MPLA or Ova. Light scattering analysis revealed MPLA : Ova to be aggregated. Stimulation of mDC and mDC : DO11.10 CD4+ TC cocultures showed a stronger activation of both mDC and Ova-specific DO11.10 CD4+ TC by MPLA : Ova compared to the mixture of both components. MPLA : Ova induced both strong proinflammatory (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokine responses from mDCs while also boosting allergen-specific Th1, Th2, and Th17 cytokine secretion. Conclusion. Conjugation of MPLA and antigen enhanced the immune response compared to the mixture of both components. Due to the nonbiased boost of Ova-specific Th2 and Th17 responses while also inducing Th1 responses, this fusion protein may not be a suitable vaccine candidate for allergy treatment but may hold potential for the treatment of other diseases that require a strong stimulation of the host’s immune system (e.g., cancer).