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Jab & Dab

Improving Flu Vaccination


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Jab & Dab.

Abstract 1: Imiquimod to Prime CTLs

J Immunol. 2005 Mar 1;174(5):2476-80.

Full Text Article

Cutting edge: priming of CTL by transcutaneous peptide immunization with imiquimod.

Rechtsteiner G, Warger T, Osterloh P, Schild H, Radsak MP.

Institute for Immunology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.

CTL are important in combating cancer and viruses. Therefore, triggering the complete potential of CTL effector functions by new vaccination strategies will not only improve prophylaxis of tumor or virus-related diseases, but also open opportunities for effective therapeutic immunizations. Using transcutaneous immunization, we show that epicutaneous (e.c.)(4) application of an ointment containing a CTL epitope and the TLR7 ligand imiquimod is highly effective in activating T cells in mice using TCR-transgenic CTL or in wild-type mice. Transcutaneous immunization-activated CTL mount a full-blown immune response against the target epitope characterized by proliferation, cytolytic activity, and the production of IFN-gamma that is completely restricted to the epitope used for vaccination. Our results obtained by simple e.c. application of an ointment, without further skin irritating procedures, provide the basis for the development of new, easy to use vaccines against cancer or virus-associated diseases.

PMID: 15728450

Abstract 2: Imiquimod as Adjuvant

Vaccine. 2006 Mar 10;24(11):1958-65.

Topical imiquimod is a potent adjuvant to a weakly-immunogenic protein prototype vaccine.

Johnston D, Bystryn JC. Hunter College School of Health Sciences, 425 East 25th Street, New York NY.

A major challenge in the development of more effective vaccines for cancer and other diseases is the development of potent adjuvants that can strongly, simply and safely enhance vaccine immunogenicity. Adjuvants that preferentially enhance Th1 type of responses are particularly desirable, as these responses are believed to play the major role in immune resistance to cancer. This study describes the ability of topical application of imiquimod to act as a potent, safe and simple vaccine adjuvant in mice. Groups of C57BL/6 mice were immunized subcutaneously with ovalbumin (OVA, 0.1mg/dose) weekly x 4. Imiquimod in a 5% cream formulation was rubbed into the skin over the injection site for 15s to give a dose of approximately 1mg/treatment following each immunization. Control mice were immunized with OVA alone, with irradiated E.G7-OVA cells (that express ovalbumin), with OVA encapsulated in liposomes, or to PBS. Topical imiquimod enhanced anti-OVA antibody responses 100-fold and markedly increased cellular responses compared to mice not given imiquimod. The responses were shifted towards a Th1 phenotype, with marked enhancement of IgG2a, IgG2b, and CD8+ T cell responses and concomitant suppression of IgM and IgG1 responses. More frequent topical applications of imiquimod further enhanced both antibody and cellular responses. There was no detectable local or systemic toxicity associated with treatment. These results indicate that topical imiquimod can safely and strongly enhance both antibody and CD8+ T cell response to OVA immunization, and suggest that it may provide a simple, safe and effective way to enhance the immunogenicity of vaccines in general.

PMID: 16310898

Abstract 3: Imiquimod in Skin Cancer 

J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Jul;127(7):1673-80. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

Imiquimod enhances the systemic immunity attained by local cryosurgery destruction of melanoma lesions.

Redondo P, del Olmo J, López-Diaz de Cerio A, Inoges S, Marquina M, Melero I, Bendandi M.

Department of Dermatology, University Clinic of Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.

Melanoma lesions can be frozen in vivo, resulting in necrotic death of malignant cells and in tumor antigen release suitable for cross-presentation by professional antigen-presenting cells. Imiquimod is a small molecule with adjuvant pro-inflammatory effects that can be topically delivered as a cream. Local cryosurgery of B16/ovalbumin (OVA)-derived subcutaneous tumor nodules leads to curative destruction of the lesions. If imiquimod is repeatedly applied on the cryo-treated lesion, a conspicuous, leukocyte-rich inflammatory infiltrate appears during the days following treatment. Mice treated by cryosurgery plus imiquimod rejected rechallenges of B16/OVA in 90% of the cases, whereas cryosurgery alone failed to prevent tumor grafting in 70% of the cases. The combination treatment of B16/OVA tumors was also able to protect 60% of the mice against outgrowth of a lethal dose of non-transfected B16 tumor cells. Addition of imiquimod to cryosurgery results in increases of the cellular immune response against tumor antigens as measured by in vitro IFN-gamma production and T-cell proliferation in response to OVA. The potent memory response is not only directed against the OVA epitope, but also toward a broader range of B16 antigens. Our data indicate that these combined treatments turn the treated tumor lesion into an autologous tumor vaccine, which is even able to cause vitiligo in several cases. These preclinical data and the simplicity of the procedures warrant the design of a pilot clinical trial.

PMID: 17380112



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