Contribution of TLR4 and MyD88 for adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) activity in a DNA prime-protein boost HIV-1 vaccine.

PMID 25045815


Recombinant protein vaccines are commonly formulated with an immune-stimulatory compound, or adjuvant, to boost immune responses to a particular antigen. Recent studies have shown that, through recognition of molecular motifs, receptors of the innate immune system are involved in the functions of adjuvants to generate and direct adaptive immune responses. However, it is not clear to which degree those receptors are also important when the adjuvant is used as part of a novel heterologous prime-boost immunization process in which the priming and boosting components are not the same type of vaccines. In the current study, we compared the immune responses elicited by a pentavalent HIV-1 DNA prime-protein boost vaccine in mice deficient in either Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) or myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) to wildtype mice. HIV gp120 protein administered in the boost phase was formulated with either monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA), QS-21, or Al(OH)3. Endpoint antibody titer, serum cytokine response and T-cell memory response were assessed. Neither TLR4 nor MyD88 deficiency had a significant effect on the immune response of mice given vaccine formulated with QS-21 or Al(OH)3. However, TLR4- and MyD88-deficiency decreased both the antibody and T-cell responses in mice administered HIV gp120 formulated with MPLA. These results further our understanding of the activation of TLR4 and MyD88 by MPLA in the context of a DNA prime/protein boost immunization strategy.