Polyactin A is a novel and potent immunological adjuvant for peptide-based cancer vaccine

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Synthetic peptide cancer vaccines are poorly immunogenic sub-unit vaccines and thus essentially need adjuvants in their formulations to increase the efficacy by enhancing the peptide-specific immune response. However, aluminum-based compounds are almost dependent for clinical use at present. Therefore, the increasing use of peptide-based vaccines makes the need for novel and potent adjuvants. Polyactin A (PAA) has been used for the clinical treatment of impaired immunity in China for over 30 years. To figure out the adjuvant effects of PAA for E75 peptide breast cancer vaccine (Her2 p369-p377), the generation of mature dendritic cells (DCs) from peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) cultured with PAA, IL-4 and TNF-α was assessed by morphologic features and the expressions of special surface markers using flow cytometry. Then the functional features of PBMCs-derived DCs cultured with PAA, IL-4 and TNF-α were investigated by inducing E75-specific cytotoxicity. Finally, C57BL/6-Tg(HLA-A2.1)1Enge/J transgenic mice were immunized with E75 and various amounts of PAA, and splenic lymphocyte proliferation and the IFN-γ level were determined. The results showed that PAA, just like granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, with IL-4 and TNF-α efficiently induced mature DCs from PBMCs, and these DCs could trigger a potent E75 peptide-specific CD8+ T-cell response in vitro. Immunization with E75 and PAA significantly increased positive rates of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, and enhanced splenocytes proliferation and levels of IFN-γ in splenocytes when induced by E75. Our results indicated that PAA could efficiently induce E75-specific immunologic responses in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, PAA possesses potent adjuvant effect on peptide-based cancer vaccine. Our study provides a safe, effective and novel adjuvant for clinical use.

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