Antigen-adjuvant nanoconjugates for nasal vaccination: an improvement over the use of nanoparticles?Mol Pharm. 2010 Dec 06; 7(6):2207-15.MP
Entrapment of antigens in mucoadhesive nanoparticles prepared from N-trimethyl chitosan (TMC) has been shown to increase their immunogenicity. However, because of their large size compared to soluble antigens, particles poorly diffuse through the nasal epithelium. The aim of this work was to study whether nasal vaccination with a much smaller TMC-antigen nanoconjugate would result in higher antibody responses as compared to TMC nanoparticles. TMC was covalently linked to a model antigen, ovalbumin (OVA), using thiol chemistry. For comparison, TMC/OVA nanoparticles and solutions of OVA and a physical mixture of TMC and OVA were made. As shown previously for TMC/OVA nanoparticles, TMC-OVA conjugate prolonged the nasal residence time of the antigen. TMC-OVA conjugate diffused significantly better through a monolayer of lung carcinoma (Calu-3) cells than TMC/OVA nanoparticles did. Moreover, nasal immunization of mice with the conjugate resulted in significantly more OVA positive DCs in the cervical lymph nodes as compared to TMC/OVA nanoparticles. Mice nasally immunized with TMC-OVA conjugate produced high levels of secretory IgA in nasal washes and higher titers of OVA-specific IgG than mice immunized with TMC/OVA nanoparticles after a priming dose. Moreover, as compared to TMC/OVA nanoparticles, TMC-OVA conjugate induced a more balanced IgG1/IgG2a response. In conclusion, the TMC-antigen nanoconjugate improves nasal delivery and immunogenicity of the antigen. This suggests that efficient codelivery of antigen and adjuvant to DCs, rather than a particulate form of the antigen/adjuvant combination, is decisive for the immunogenicity of the antigen.