Antigen delivery to dendritic cells by poly(propylene sulfide) nanoparticles with disulfide conjugated peptides: Cross-presentation and T cell activation

Vaccine. 2010 Nov 23;28(50):7897-906. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.09.077. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


Vaccines aiming to activate cytotoxic T cells require cross-presentation of exogenous antigen by antigen-presenting cells (APCs). We recently developed a synthetic nanoparticle vaccine platform that targets lymph node-resident dendritic cells (DCs), capable of mounting an immune response to conjugated antigen. Here, we explore routes of processing and the efficiency of MHC I cross-presentation of OVA peptides conjugated using both reducible and non-reducible linkages, exploring the hypothesis that reduction-sensitive conjugation will lead to better antigen cross-presentation. Both clathrin and macropinocytic pathways were implicated in nanoparticle uptake by colocalization and inhibitor studies. Cross-presentation by DCs was demonstrated by direct antibody staining and in vitro stimulation of CD8(+) T cells from OT-I mice and was indeed most efficient with the reduction-sensitive conjugation. Similarly, we observed IFN-γ production by CD4(+) T cells from OT-II mice. Finally, immunization with the OVA peptide-bearing nanoparticles resulted in in vivo proliferation and IFN-γ production by adoptively transferred CD8(+) OT-I T cells and was also most efficient with reduction-sensitive linking of the peptide antigen. These results demonstrate the relevance of the poly(propylene sulfide) nanoparticle vaccine platform and antigen conjugation scheme for activating both cytotoxic and helper T cell responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / immunology
  • Cross-Priming*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nanoparticles
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Pinocytosis / immunology
  • Polymers
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Sulfides / immunology*


  • Polymers
  • Sulfides
  • poly(propylene sulfide)
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Ovalbumin