Tuesday 24 March 2009, 12.00 to 13.00
" Role of interleukine-6 in the regulation of humoral and Th2 responses"
Adjuvant efficiency is critical for inducing a protective and long-lasting immune response against weak immunogenic antigens. Discovered more than 70 years ago, aluminum salts (alum) are still the most widely used adjuvants in vaccines. Yet the mechanism of action has just been partly elucidated. Indeed, the multi-molecular platform called inflammasome appears to be responsible for alum recognition. Upon phagocytosis, alum activates the cytoplasmic NOD-like receptor Nlrp3 that associates in the inflammasome complex with caspase-1, which eventually promotes the processing of the IL-1 family of cytokines.
Despite a poorly described mechanism, it is widely recognized that alum is a potent inducer of a T helper type 2 (Th2)-oriented immune responses but fails to promote cell-mediated immunity. To design more efficient and intracellular pathogen-adapted vaccines, a better understanding of signalling events triggered by adjuvants is thus essential.