Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Oil-in-Water Emulsion MF59 Increases Germinal Center B Cell Differentiation and Persistence in Response to Vaccination.

PMID 26170383


Induction of persistent protective immune responses is a key attribute of a successful vaccine formulation. MF59 adjuvant, an oil-in-water emulsion used in human vaccines, is known to induce persistent high-affinity functional Ab titers and memory B cells, but how it really shapes the Ag-specific B cell compartment is poorly documented. In this study, we characterized the Ab- and Ag-specific B cell compartment in wild-type mice immunized with HlaH35L, a Staphylococcus aureus Ag known to induce measurable functional Ab responses, formulated with MF59 or aluminum salts, focusing on germinal centers (GC) in secondary lymphoid organs. Taking advantage of single-cell flow cytometry analyses, HlaH35L-specific B cells were characterized for the expression of CD38 and GL-7, markers of memory and GC, respectively, and for CD80 and CD73 activation markers. We demonstrated that immunization with MF59-, but not aluminum salt-adjuvanted HlaH35L, induced expanded Ag-specific CD73(+)CD80(-) GC B cells in proximal- and distal-draining lymph nodes, and promoted the persistence of GC B cells, detected up to 4 mo after immunization. In addition to increasing GC B cells, MF59-adjuvanted HlaH35L also increased the frequency of T follicular helper cells. This work extends previous knowledge regarding adaptive immune responses to MF59-adjuvanted vaccines, and, to our knowledge, for the first time an adjuvant used in human licensed products is shown to promote strong and persistent Ag-specific GC responses that might benefit the rational design of new vaccination strategies.

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