Mouse strain and sex as determinants of immune response to trivalent influenza vaccine

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



The study examined the influence of sex and mouse strain on germinal center (GC) reaction and antibody responses to seasonal split trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV).

Main methods:

C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice of both sexes were immunized with TIV and examined for specific antibody response by ELISA. Splenic T follicular regulatory (Tfr), T follicular helper (Tfh) and GC B cells are detected by flow cytometry. The proliferative response of splenocytes, and concentrations of IFN-γ and IL-4 upon restimulation with vaccine antigens were examined by 7-AAD staining and ELISA, respectively.

Key findings:

BALB/c mice developed more robust IgG responses to vaccine type A antigens than their sex-matched C57BL/6 counterparts, while that to B antigen did not differ between strains. In both strains IgG responses against type A vaccine antigens were greater in females than in males. The greater IgG responses correlated with lower splenic Tfr/Tfh and Tfr/GC B cell ratios and greater vaccine antigen-specific proliferative responses of CD4+ and B cells in splenocyte cultures. In both mouse strains IgG2a(c)/IgG1 ratios were comparable between sexes, but lower in BALB/c than in C57BL/6 mice indicating a shift in Th1/Th2 balance towards Th2 response in BALB/c ones. Consistently, splenocytes from BALB/c mice produced more IL-4 and less IFN-γ than those from C57BL/6 mice.


The study indicated that magnitude of humoral response to influenza type A haemagglutinins depends on mouse strain and sex, and thereby set background for the vaccination strategies taking into account biological sex, and in a longterm perspective individual differences in immune reactivity.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles