Vaccine strategies: targeting helper T cell responses

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1995 May 31:754:126-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1995.tb44445.x.


Vaccine strategies need to take into account the balance of T helper subsets they induce. TH1 cells, which secrete IFN gamma and IL-2, are associated with CMI, rather than humoral responses, and afford protection against intracellular infections including parasites. In contrast, TH2 cells secrete IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10; elicit high-titer antibody responses and poor CMI; and are associated with susceptibility to infection with intracellular pathogens. Depending on the type of TH cell bias required, it is possible to manipulate the immune response to a protein or peptide by employing (1) different adjuvants, (2) conjugating the protein to various carriers, (3) immunizing in the presence of cytokines, (4) using alternative routes of administration, or (5) using different forms or doses of antigen. To apply these approaches to a particular vaccine, it is necessary to identify which component of the infectious agent (e.g., envelope protein or peptide) or allergen to target. Once the type of TH cell response that is protective is identified, it may be possible to combine a protein with an adjuvant or link it to a carrier that will promote responses towards the most advantageous TH subset.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Conjugate