Hydrogel-delivered GM-CSF overcomes nonresponsiveness to hepatitis B vaccine through the recruitment and activation of dendritic cells

Ho Yuan Chou, Xi Zhang Lin, Wen Yu Pan, Ping Yi Wu, Chia Ming Chang, Tsai Yu Lin, Hsin Hsin Shen, Mi Hua Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The standard hepatitis B surface Ag (HBsAg) vaccine fails to induce anti-hepatitis B surface Abs in 5-10% of healthy subjects, a phenomenon known as HBsAg nonresponsiveness, which is closely related to HLA class II alleles and impaired Th cell responses to HBsAg in these subjects. We hypothesized that GM-CSF, a potent adjuvant in enhancing the Ag-presentation activity of APCs, might help to generate Th cell responses in nonresponders, subsequently providing help for B cells to produce anti-hepatitis B surface Abs. We used a thermosensitive biodegradable copolymer (hydrogel) system to codeliver HBsAg and GM-CSF to achieve maximal local cytokine activity at the injection site. In responder mouse strains, hydrogel-formulated HBsAg plus GM-CSF (Gel/HBs+GM) vaccine elicited much greater anti-hepatitis B surface Ab titers and Th cell proliferative responses than a commercial aluminum-formulated HBsAg vaccine or free HBsAg. The adjuvant effect of the Gel/HBs+GM vaccine was dependent upon the local release of GM-CSF. More importantly, the Gel/HBs+GM vaccine elicited high HBsAg-specific Ab titers and Th cell responses in B10.M mice, a mouse strain that does not respond to the current HBsAg vaccine because of its H-2 haplotype. Analysis of the draining lymph nodes of Gel/HBs+GM vaccine-treated mice revealed an elevated number of CD11c+ dendritic cells showing enhanced expression of MHC class II and a variety of costimulatory molecules. These results demonstrate that hydrogelformulated GM-CSF might represent a simple and effective method to generate next-generation hepatitis B virus vaccines for inducing anti-hepatitis B surface Abs in nonresponders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5468-5475
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrogel-delivered GM-CSF overcomes nonresponsiveness to hepatitis B vaccine through the recruitment and activation of dendritic cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this