Dissolving polymeric microneedle arrays formulated to contain recombinant CN54 HIVgp140 and the TLR4 agonist adjuvant MPLA were assessed for their ability to elicit antigen-specific immunity. Using this novel microneedle system we successfully primed antigen-specific responses that were further boosted by an intranasal mucosal inoculation to elicit significant antigen-specific immunity. This prime-boost modality generated similar serum and mucosal gp140-specific IgG levels to the adjuvanted and systemic subcutaneous inoculations. While the microneedle primed groups demonstrated a balanced Th1/Th2 profile, strong Th2 polarization was observed in the subcutaneous inoculation group, likely due to the high level of IL-5 secretion from cells in this group. Significantly, the animals that received a microneedle prime and intranasal boost regimen elicited a high level IgA response in both the serum and mucosa, which was greatly enhanced over the subcutaneous group. The splenocytes from this inoculation group secreted moderate levels of IL-5 and IL-10 as well as high amounts of IL-2, cytokines known to act in synergy to induce IgA. This work opens up the possibility for microneedle-based HIV vaccination strategies that, once fully developed, will greatly reduce risk for vaccinators and patients, with those in the developing world set to benefit most.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science