Trichoplusia ni cells (High Five) are highly efficient for the production of influenza A virus-like particles: a comparison of two insect cell lines as production platforms for influenza vaccines

Mol Biotechnol. 2010 Jul;45(3):226-34. doi: 10.1007/s12033-010-9268-3.


Virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of the influenza A virus proteins haemagglutinin (HA) and matrix protein (M1) represent a new alternative approach for vaccine design against influenza virus. Influenza VLPs can be fast and easily produced in sufficient amounts in insect cells using the baculovirus expression system. Up to now, influenza VLPs have been produced in the Spodoptera frugiperda cell line Sf9. We compared VLP production in terms of yield and quality in two insect cell lines, namely Sf9 and the Trichoplusia ni cell line BTI-TN5B1-4 (High Five). Additionally we compared VLP production with three different HAs and two different M1s from influenza H1 and H3 strains including one swine-origin pandemic H1N1 strain. Comparison of the two cell lines showed dramatic differences in baculovirus background as well as in yield and particle density. Taken together, we consider the establishment of the BTI-TN5B1-4 cell line advantageous as production cell line for influenza VLPs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / metabolism
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / biosynthesis*
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / immunology
  • Influenza A virus / growth & development*
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines / biosynthesis*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Spodoptera / cytology*
  • Spodoptera / virology
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / immunology
  • Virion / isolation & purification*
  • Virion / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • H1N1 virus hemagglutinin
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • M1 protein, Influenza A virus
  • Viral Matrix Proteins