Local and systemic cytokine and chemokine responses after parenteral influenza vaccination

Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2007 Jul;1(4):139-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2007.00019.x.


Background and objective: In this study we investigated the levels of cytokines and chemokines produced locally and systemically after influenza vaccination of patients undergoing tonsillectomy.

Methods: Blood and saliva were collected prior to, and 1 or 2 weeks after vaccination at the time of the tonsillectomy. The cytokine and chemokine concentrations were determined in both unstimulated (whole blood, serum and saliva) and in vitro influenza stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) and tonsillar lymphocyte (TMC) cultures.

Results: We found that influenza vaccination elicited protective levels of serum haemagglutination inhibition antibodies and a significant local antibody response in the saliva. No significant differences were observed in the cytokine or chemokine levels 1 or 2 weeks post-vaccination in either the serum or saliva. Similarly, no significant differences were found in the gene expression levels in PBMC after vaccination, but interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, gamma-interferon and transforming growth factor-beta were slightly elevated at 1 week post-vaccination but decreased by 2 weeks post-vaccination. In contrast, increased concentrations of a mixture of type 1, type 2 and inflammatory cytokines were produced 1 and 2 weeks after influenza vaccination by in vitro-stimulated PBMC and TMC.

Conclusion: We show that cytokine responses can be measured after influenza vaccination in in vitro-stimulated lymphocytes but not directly in the blood or saliva. These results will provide a useful baseline that can be used for comparison of the immune response in human volunteers involved in clinical trials of novel influenza vaccines.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Saliva / chemistry


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Cytokines
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • RNA, Messenger