Immunization of mice by hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles as carriers of porcine circovirus type 2 ORF2 protein

Virol J. 2012 Jun 12:9:108. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-9-108.


Background: Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a primary etiological agent of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), which is a disease of increasing importance to the pig industry worldwide. Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) have gained increasing interest for use in vaccines.

Methods: To study the potential of HMSNs for use as a protein delivery system or vaccine carriers. HMSNs were synthesized by a sol-gel/emulsion(oil-in-water/ethanol) method, purified PCV2 GST-ORF2-E protein was loaded into HMSNs, and the resulting HMSN/protein mixture was injected into mice. The uptake and release profiles of protein by HMSNs in vitro were investigated. PCV2 GST-ORF2-E specific antibodies and secretion of IFN-γ were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, spleen lymphocyte proliferation was measured by the MTS method, and the percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ were determined by flow cytometry.

Results: HMSNs were found to yield better binding capacities and delivery profiles of proteins; the specific immune response induced by PCV2 GST-ORF2-E was maintained for a relatively long period of time after immunization with the HMSN/protein complex.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that HMSNs are good protein carriers and have high potential for use in future applications in therapeutic drug delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Circovirus / immunology*
  • Drug Carriers / administration & dosage*
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Silicon Dioxide / administration & dosage*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Drug Carriers
  • Viral Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Interferon-gamma