Synthesis of a hydrogel-based vaccine to mimic dendritic cell responses to pathogens
Author(s)Jain, Siddhartha, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Biological Engineering Division.
Darrell J. Irvine.
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Live or attenuated pathogens are the basis of many successful vaccines due in part to the orchestrated response of dendritic cells (DCs) triggered by these immunizations, which includes (1) DC and DC precursor attraction to the immunization site, (2) efficient antigen delivery to class I and class II MHC loading pathways coincident with maturation of DCs, and (3) emigration to draining lymph nodes for T cell activation. We have developed a model immunization system designed to allow these steps in the DC life cycle to be controlled in the context of a subunit vaccine. The system is comprised of microspheres encapsulating chemokines and hydrogel nanoparticles; each nanoparticle contains antigen and DC maturation signals (e.g., TLR ligands). The nanoparticles remain sequestered within the carrier microspheres but the chemokine is released at a controllable rate, creating a local chemoattractant gradient centered on each microsphere. DCs are attracted to individual microspheres where nanoparticles are concentrated; attracted DCs extract nanoparticles from the carrier microspheres, and receive maturation signals coincident with the delivery of antigen into both class I and class II MHC processing pathways.(cont.) In addition, the nanoparticles may be labeled to allow subsequent tracking of particle-carrying DCs in vivo. These components allow the attraction (or if desired, emigration) of dendritic cells and their precursors to be selectively modulated at an immunization site, and the activation signals received by these cells when they encounter antigen to be tailored. In vitro experiments indicate that chemokine-releasing microspheres effectively attract DCs and monocytes over significant distances, and that the gel nanoparticles efficiently trigger DC maturation and lead to both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation in vitro and in vivo. This system provides both a platform for rational immunotherapy as well as a powerful set of tools by which the function of dendritic cells can be manipulated and dissected to improve our understanding of how DC trafficking and functional state impacts immune responses.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biological Engineering Division, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-160).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Biological Engineering Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biological Engineering Division.