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ABSTRACT: The ability of antigens to elicit immune responses depends upon their initial recognition, uptake, processing and presentation by dendritic cells. This fact has been recognized by many workers and dendritic cells are now regarded as natural 'adjuvants' in the business of vaccine design. One way of persuading dendritic cells to become interested in foreign material is to decorate it with lipid moieties found in bacteria. This approach has been used in the context of synthetic peptide-based immunogens and depending on the nature of the epitopes included, can provide highly immunogenic structures capable of eliciting antibody or cytotoxic T cell responses. In this paper we describe the results of experiments in which the stimulatory effects of peptide-based vaccine candidates on human dendritic cells are examined. Our findings indicate that lipidated structures comprising vaccine target sequences of viral origin coupled to the synthetic lipid groups of bacteria are able to induce the maturation of dendritic cells, as measured by the expression of cell surface MHC class II molecules.
Immunology and Cell Biology 03/2003; 81(1):67-72. · 3.93 Impact Factor