European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
In a time in which mucosal vaccines development has been delayed by the lack of safe and effective mucosal adjuvants, the combination of adjuvants has started to be explored as a strategy to obtain potent vaccine formulations. This study describes a novel adjuvant combination as an effective approach for a nasal vaccine - the association of the mast cell activator compound 48/80 with chitosan based nanoparticles. It was hypothesized that mucoadhesive nanoparticles would promote the cellular uptake and prolong the antigen residence time on nasal cavity. Simultaneously, mast cell activation would promote a local microenvironment favorable to the development of an immune response. To test this hypothesis, two different C48/80 loaded nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared: Chitosan-C48/80 NP (Chi-C48/80 NP) and Chitosan/Alginate-C48/80 NP (Chi/Alg-C48/80 NP). The potential as a vaccine adjuvant of the two delivery systems was evaluated and directly compared. Both formulations had a mean size near 500nm and a positive charge; however, Chi-C48/80 NP was a more effective adjuvant delivery system when compared with Chi/Alg-C48/80 NP or C48/80 alone. Chi-C48/80 NP activated mast cells at a greater extent, were better internalized by antigen presenting cells than Chi/Alg-C48/80 NP and successfully enhanced the nasal residence time of a model antigen. Superiority of Chi-C48/80 NP as adjuvant was also observed in vivo. Therefore, nasal immunization of mice with Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) adsorbed on Chi-C48/80 NP elicited high levels of serum anti-PA neutralizing antibodies and a more balanced Th1/Th2 profile than C48/80 in solution or Chi/Alg-C48/80 NP. The incorporation of C48/80 within Chi NP also promoted a mucosal immunity greater than all the other adjuvanted groups tested, showing that the combination of a mast cell activator and chitosan NP could be a promising strategy for nasal immunization.