Nanoparticulate Tubular Immunostimulating Complexes: Novel Formulation of Effective Adjuvants and Antigen Delivery Systems

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:4389525. doi: 10.1155/2017/4389525. Epub 2017 Jul 20.


New generation vaccines, based on isolated antigens, are safer than traditional ones, comprising the whole pathogen. However, major part of purified antigens has weak immunogenicity. Therefore, elaboration of new adjuvants, more effective and safe, is an urgent problem of vaccinology. Tubular immunostimulating complexes (TI-complexes) are a new type of nanoparticulate antigen delivery systems with adjuvant activity. TI-complexes consist of cholesterol and compounds isolated from marine hydrobionts: cucumarioside A2-2 (CDA) from Cucumaria japonica and monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) from marine algae or seagrass. These components were selected due to immunomodulatory and other biological activities. Glycolipid MGDG from marine macrophytes comprises a high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which demonstrate immunomodulatory properties. CDA is a well-characterized individual compound capable of forming stable complex with cholesterol. Such complexes do not possess hemolytic activity. Ultralow doses of cucumariosides stimulate cell as well as humoral immunity. Therefore, TI-complexes comprising biologically active components turned out to be more effective than the strongest adjuvants: immunostimulating complexes (ISCOMs) and complete Freund's adjuvant. In the present review, we discuss results published in series of our articles on elaboration, qualitative and quantitative composition, ultrastructure, and immunostimulating activity of TI-complexes. The review allows immersion in the history of creating TI-complexes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / chemistry
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / chemistry
  • Cholesterol / immunology
  • Cucumaria / chemistry
  • Cucumaria / immunology
  • Cyanobacteria / chemistry
  • Cyanobacteria / immunology
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Galactolipids / chemistry
  • Galactolipids / immunology
  • ISCOMs / chemistry
  • ISCOMs / immunology*
  • ISCOMs / therapeutic use
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use
  • Saponins / chemistry
  • Saponins / immunology
  • Vaccines / chemistry
  • Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Galactolipids
  • ISCOMs
  • Saponins
  • Vaccines
  • cucumarioside A2-2
  • monogalactosyldiacylglycerol
  • Cholesterol