Induction of humoral responses to HIV at mucosal compartments without inflammation is important for vaccine design. We developed charged wax nanoparticles that efficiently adsorb protein antigens and are internalized by DC in the absence of inflammation. HIV-gp140-adsorbed nanoparticles induced stronger in vitro T-cell proliferation responses than antigen alone. Such responses were greatly enhanced when antigen was co-adsorbed with TLR ligands. Immunogenicity studies in mice showed that intradermal vaccination with HIV-gp140 antigen-adsorbed nanoparticles induced high levels of specific IgG. Importantly, intranasal immunization with HIV-gp140-adsorbed nanoparticles greatly enhanced serum and vaginal IgG and IgA responses. Our results show that HIV-gp140-carrying wax nanoparticles can induce strong cellular/humoral immune responses without inflammation and may be of potential use as effective mucosal adjuvants for HIV vaccine candidates
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