The role of surface charge of ISCOMATRIX nanoparticles on the type of immune response generated against Leishmaniasis in BALB/c mice

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Immunology Department, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Center for Research and Training in Skin Diseases and Leprosy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



ISCOMATRIX vaccines have now been shown to induce strong antigen-specific cellular or humoral immune responses to a broad range of antigens of viral, bacterial, parasite or tumor. In the present study, we investigated the role of ISCOMATRIX charge in induction of a Th1 type of immune response and protection against Leishmania major infection in BALB/c mice. 
Materials and Methods:
Positively and negatively charged ISCOMATRIX were prepared. BALB/C mice were immunized subcutaneously, three times with 2-week intervals, with different ISCOMATRIX formulations. Soluble Leishmania antigens (SLA) were mixed with ISCOMATRIX right before injection. The extent of protection and type of immune response were studied in different groups of mice.
The group of mice immunized with negatively charged ISCOMATRIX showed smaller footpad swelling upon challenge with L. major and the highest IgG2a production compared with positively charged one. The mice immunized with positively charged ISCOMATRIX showed the lowest splenic parasite burden compared to the other groups. Cytokine assay results indicated that the highest level of IFN- γ and IL-4 secretion was observed in the splenocytes of mice immunized with negatively charged ISCOMATRIX   as compared to other groups.
The results indicated that ISCOMATRIX formulations generate an immune response with mixed Th1/Th2 response that was not protective against challenge against L. major.


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