Molecular pharmaceutics

Enhanced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses generated by cationic polymer-coated PLA microspheres with adsorbed HBsAg.

PMID 24738485


Surface-engineered particulate delivery systems for vaccine administration have been widely investigated in experimental and clinical studies. However, little is known about charge-coated microspheres as potential recombinant subunit protein antigen delivery systems in terms of adsorption and related immune responses. In the present study, cationic polymers, including chitosan (CS), chitosan chloride (CSC), and polyethylenimine (PEI), were used to coat PLA microspheres to build positively charged surfaces. Antigen adsorption capacity was enhanced with increased surface charge of coated microspheres. In macrophages, HBsAg adsorbed on the surface of cationic microspheres specifically enhanced antigen uptake and augmented CD86, MHC I, and MHC II expression and IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-12 release. Antigens were more likely to localize independent of lysosomes after phagocytosis in antigen-attached cationic microsphere formulations. After intraperitoneal immunization, cationic microsphere-based vaccine formulations generated a rapid and efficient humoral immune response and cytokine release as compared with aluminum-adsorbed vaccine and free antigens in vivo. Moreover, microspheres coated with cationic polymers with relatively high positive charges and higher antigen adsorption exhibited strong stimulation of the Th1 response. In conclusion, PLA microspheres coated with cationic polymers may be a potential recombinant antigen delivery system to induce strong cell and humoral immune responses.