A CD1d-binding glycolipid, a-Galactosylceramide (aGalCer), activates invariant NK T cells and acts as an adjuvant. We previously identified a fluorinated phenyl ring-modified aGalCer analog, 7DW8-5, displaying nearly 100-fold stronger CD1d binding affinity. In the current study, 7DW8-5 was found to exert a more potent adjuvant effect than aGalCer for a vaccine based on radiation-attenuated sporozoites of a rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii, also referred to as irradiated P. yoelii sporozoites (IrPySpz). 7DW8-5 had a superb adjuvant effect only when the glycolipid and IrPySpz were conjointly administered i.m. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of distinctly different biodistribution patterns of aGalCer and 7DW8-5 on their respective adjuvant activities. Although both glycolipids induce a similar cytokine response in sera of mice injected i.v., after i.m. injection, aGalCer induces a systemic cytokine response, whereas 7DW8-5 is locally trapped by CD1d expressed by dendritic cells (DCs) in draining lymph nodes (dLNs). Moreover, the i.m. coadministration of 7DW8-5 with IrPySpz results in the recruitment of DCs to dLNs and the activation and maturation of DCs. These events cause the potent adjuvant effect of 7DW8-5, resulting in the enhancement of the CD8+ T cell response induced by IrPySpz and, ultimately, improved protection against malaria. Our study is the first to show that the colocalization of a CD1d-binding invariant NK T cell-stimulatory glycolipid and a vaccine, like radiation-attenuated sporozoites, in dLN-resident DCs upon i.m. conjoint administration governs the potency of the adjuvant effect of the glycolipid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy