Trehalose is a well known protector of biostructures like liposomes and proteins during freeze-drying, but still today there is a big debate regarding its mechanism of action. In previous experiments we have shown that trehalose is able to protect a non-phospholipid-based liposomal adjuvant (designated CAF01) composed of the cationic dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) and trehalose 6,6'-dibehenate (TDB) during freeze-drying [D. Christensen, C. Foged, I. Rosenkrands, H.M. Nielsen, P. Andersen, E.M. Agger, Trehalose preserves DDA/TDB liposomes and their adjuvant effect during freeze-drying, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Biomembr. 1768 (2007) 2120-2129]. Furthermore it was seen that TDB is required for the stabilizing effect of trehalose. Herein, we show using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique that a high concentration of TDB present at the water-lipid interface results in a surface pressure around 67 mN/m as compared to that of pure DDA which is approximately 47 mN/m in the compressed state. This indicates that the attractive forces between the trehalose head group of TDB and water are greater than those between the quaternary ammonium head group of DDA and water. Furthermore, addition of trehalose to a DDA monolayer containing small amounts of TDB also increases the surface pressure, which is not observed in the absence of TDB. This suggests that even small amounts of trehalose groups on TDB present at the water-lipid interface associate free trehalose to the liposome surface, presumably by hydrogen bonding between the trehalose head groups of TDB and the free trehalose molecules. Hence, for CAF01 the TDB component not only stabilizes the cationic liposomes and enhances the immune response but also facilitates the cryo-/lyoprotection by trehalose through direct interaction with the head group of TDB. Furthermore the results indicate that direct interaction with liposome surfaces is necessary for trehalose to enable protection during freeze-drying.
- freeze drying