Non-replicating protein- or DNA-based antigens generally require immune-enhancing adjuvants and delivery systems. It has been particularly difficult to raise antibodies against gp120 of HIV-1, which constitutes an important approach in HIV vaccine design. While almost all effort in adjuvant research has focused on mimicking the pathogens and the danger signals they engender in the host, relatively little effort has been spent on nutritive approaches. In this study, a new nutritive immune-enhancing delivery system (NIDS) composed of vitamin A, a polyphenol-flavonoid, catechin hydrate, and mustard oil was tested for its adjuvant effect in immune responses against the gp120 protein of HIV-1(CN54). Following a combination of two mucosal and two systemic vaccinations of mice, we found significant enhancement of both local and systemic antibodies as well as cytokine responses. These data have important implications for vaccine and adjuvant design against HIV-1 and other pathogens.
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