GM-CSF improves the immune response to the diphtheria-component in a multivalent vaccine

Publication date: 25 July 2018
Source:Vaccine, Volume 36, Issue 31
Author(s): Marco Grasse, Andreas Meryk, Carina Miggitsch, Beatrix Grubeck-Loebenstein
Multivalent tetanus and diphtheria toxoid containing vaccines belong to the most frequently applied vaccines. However, there is an imbalance in the degree of protection against the two antigens with insufficient long-term protection against diphtheria, particularly in the elderly population. We have previously reported a positive correlation between granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and the production of diphtheria-specific antibodies. Therefore, in the present study we analyzed the effects of in vivo applied recombinant GM-CSF on immunization with multivalent tetanus/diphtheria vaccine in mice of different age. In vivo application of GM-CSF lead to enhanced production of diphtheria-specific antibodies as well as more diphtheria-specific CD4+ T cells following vaccination with multivalent tetanus/diphtheria vaccine. In contrast, the humoral and cellular immune response to the tetanus component was unaltered. Furthermore, application of GM-CSF resulted in more splenic CD11b+ dendritic cells (DCs) with a higher MHC-II expression. GM-CSF also induced a stronger recruitment of CD11b+ DCs to the injected muscle. Most remarkably, GM-CSF was able to boost the diphtheria-specific immune response to the multivalent vaccine in aged mice. This study demonstrates that local administration of GM-CSF is able to improve immune responsiveness to the diphtheria component of multivalent tetanus/diphtheria vaccine in young and old mice. This information could be useful for the future design of vaccines for the elderly.