The immunostimulatory capacities of cationic liposomes are well-documented and are attributed both to inherent immunogenicity of the cationic lipid and more physical capacities such as the formation of antigen depots and antigen delivery. Very few studies have however been conducted comparing the immunostimulatory capacities of different cationic lipids. In the present study we therefore chose to investigate three of the most well-known cationic liposome-forming lipids as potential adjuvants for protein subunit vaccines. The ability of 3β-[N-(N',N'-dimethylaminoethane)carbomyl] cholesterol (DC-Chol), 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium propane (DOTAP), and dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) liposomes incorporating immunomodulating trehalose dibehenate (TDB) to form an antigen depot at the site of injection (SOI) and to induce immunological recall responses against coadministered tuberculosis vaccine antigen Ag85B-ESAT-6 are reported. Furthermore, physical characterization of the liposomes is presented. Our results suggest that liposome composition plays an important role in vaccine retention at the SOI and the ability to enable the immune system to induce a vaccine specific recall response. While all three cationic liposomes facilitated increased antigen presentation by antigen presenting cells, the monocyte infiltration to the SOI and the production of IFN-γ upon antigen recall was markedly higher for DDA and DC-Chol based liposomes which exhibited a longer retention profile at the SOI. A long-term retention and slow release of liposome and vaccine antigen from the injection site hence appears to favor a stronger Th1 immune response.
- cationic liposomes
- dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA)