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Polysaccharide Nanoparticles Can Efficiently Modulate The Immune Response Against An HIV Peptide Antigen
Tamara G. Dacoba, R. W. Omange, Hongzhao Li, J. Crecente-Campo, M. Luo, M. Alonso
Published 2019 · Chemistry, Medicine
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The development of an effective HIV vaccine continues to be a major health challenge since, so far, only the RV144 trial has demonstrated a modest clinical efficacy. Recently, the targeting of the 12 highly conserved protease cleavage sites (PCS1–12) has been presented as a strategy seeking to hamper the maturation and infectivity of HIV. To pursue this line of research, and because peptide antigens have low immunogenicity, we have included these peptides in engineered nanoparticles, aiming at overcoming this limitation. More specifically, we investigated whether the covalent attachment of a PCS peptide (PCS5) to polysaccharide-based nanoparticles, and their coadministration with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), improved the generated immune response. To this end, PCS5 was first conjugated to two different polysaccharides (chitosan and hyaluronic acid) through either a stable or a cleavable bond and then associated with an oppositely charged polymer (dextran sulfate and chitosan) and poly(I:C) to form the nanoparticles. Nanoparticles associating PCS5 by ionic interactions were used in this study as the control formulation. In vivo, all nanosystems elicited high anti-PCS5 antibodies. Nanoparticles containing PCS5 conjugated and poly(I:C) seemed to induce the strongest activation of antigen-presenting cells. Interestingly, T cell activation presented different kinetics depending on the prototype. These findings show that both the nanoparticle composition and the conjugation of the HIV peptide antigen may play an important role in the generation of humoral and cellular responses.
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