Co3O4NP stimulate Th1-type immune responses in vivo and could be useful as a vaccine adjuvant where both Th1 and Th2 responses are needed.
Adjuvants may be added to a vaccine to boost the immune response to produce more antibodies and provide longer-lasting immunity, minimizing the antigen dosage needed. Aluminium/alum adjuvants have been, until relatively recently, the only adjuvant used in human vaccines. There remains a need for new adjuvants for vaccines that can successfully prevent infection due to intracellular pathogens and which produce enhanced Th1-cellular-mediated immune responses.
Edinburgh researchers have shown that cobalt oxide nanoparticles (Co3O4NP) were capable of inducing a Th1 response without a severe delayed-type hypersensitivity pathology in lungs in vivo. Using the model antigen OVA, anti-OVA responses induced by Co3O4NP were compared to a commercially available aluminium-containing adjuvant. Toxicity was also assessed at the injection site and cytotoxicity for antigen-presenting cells was evaluated using a mouse macrophage cell line. Co3O4NP was observed to induce a balanced Th1 and Th2 response to the model antigen with little evidence of allergy, inflammation or toxicity at injection sites (s.c. and i.p.)
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