Porcine Dendritic Cells as an In Vitro Model to Assess the Immunological Behaviour of Streptococcus suis Subunit Vaccine Formulations and the Polarizing Effect of Adjuvants

Pathogens. 2017 Mar 22;6(1):13. doi: 10.3390/pathogens6010013.


An in vitro porcine bone marrow-derived dendritic cell (DC) culture was developed as a model for evaluating immune polarization induced by adjuvants when administered with immunogens that may become vaccine candidates if appropriately formulated. The swine pathogen Streptococcus suis was chosen as a prototype to evaluate proposed S. suis vaccine candidates in combination with the adjuvants Poly I:C, Quil A ®, Alhydrogel ®, TiterMax Gold ® and Stimune ®. The toll-like receptor ligand Poly I:C and the saponin Quil A ® polarized swine DC cytokines towards a type 1 phenotype, with preferential production of IL-12 and TNF-α. The water-in-oil adjuvants TiterMax Gold ® and Stimune ® favoured a type 2 profile as suggested by a marked IL-6 release. In contrast, Alhydrogel ® induced a type 1/type 2 mixed cytokine profile. The antigen type differently modified the magnitude of the adjuvant effect, but overall polarization was preserved. This is the first comparative report on swine DC immune activation by different adjuvants. Although further swine immunization studies would be required to better characterize the induced responses, the herein proposed in vitro model is a promising approach that helps assessing behaviour of the vaccine formulation rapidly at the pre-screening stage and will certainly reduce numbers of animals used while advancing vaccinology science.

Keywords: Poly I:C; Streptococcus suis; adjuvants; alum; cytokines; dendritic cells; saponins; swine; vaccines; water-in-oil emulsions.