Efficiency of Heat Denatured Lectins from Abrus precatorius as Immunoadjuvants

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Abrus agglutinin and Abrus toxin are galactose-binding lectins with strong affinity for Gal (β 1→3) GalNAc and their immunostimulatory activities are exerted through the lectin-carbohydrate interaction. In our previous work, it was demonstrated that heat denatured Abrus agglutinin in oil emulsion produces humoral immune response comparable with that of traditional complete Freund's adjuvant when used with the test antigen ovalbumin in a rat model. In the present work, we have undertaken a study to determine the immunoadjuvant activity of Abrus agglutinin (native/heat denatured) and toxin (heat denatured) in aqueous solution when co-administered with ovalbumin (OVA) as well as diphtheria toxoid (DTOX) and lysozyme (LZ) as test antigens in a mouse model system. It was found that induction of humoral immunity by native agglutinin (NA), heat denatured agglutinin (HDA) and heat denatured toxin (HDT) were comparable to that of Freund's adjuvant. The antigen specific IgG titre was much higher in comparison to adjuvant (NA, HDA, HDT) specific titre and IgG subtyping revealed a higher IgG2a titre. Moreover, antigen co-administered with NA in mice induced antigen specific antibodies with higher avidity than in the case of mice injected with antigen and HDA/HDT or Freund's adjuvant, antigen specific antibodies which latter showed comparable avidity. All these findings indicate that Abrus agglutinin (native/heat denatured) and toxin (heat denatured) may be used as immunoadjuvants in aqueous solution for potentiating the systemic immune response for raising high titre antibody with high avidity for weak antigens in the rodent systems.

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