Squalene-based adjuvants stimulate CD8 T cell, but not antibody responses, through a RIPK3-dependent pathway
The squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion (SE) vaccine adjuvant MF59 has been administered to more than 100 million people in more than 30 countries, in both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. Despite its wide use and efficacy, its mechanisms of action remains unclear. In this study we demonstrate that immunization of mice with MF59 or its mimetic AddaVax (AV) plus soluble antigen results in robust antigen-specific antibody and CD8 T cell responses in lymph nodes and non-lymphoid tissues. Immunization triggered rapid RIPK3-kinase dependent necroptosis in the lymph node which peaked at 6 hours, followed by a sequential wave of apoptosis. Immunization with alum plus antigen did not induce RIPK3 kinase-dependent signaling. RIPK3-dependent signaling induced by MF59 or AV was essential for cross-presentation of antigen to CD8 T cells by Batf3-dependent CD8+ DCs. Consistent with this, RIPK3-kinase deficient or Batf3 deficient mice were impaired in their ability to mount adjuvant-enhanced CD8 T cell responses. However, CD8 T cell responses were unaffected in mice deficient in MLKL, a downstream mediator of necroptosis. Surprisingly, antibody responses were unaffected in RIPK3-kinase or Batf3 deficient mice. In contrast, antibody responses were impaired by in vivo administration of the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK, but normal in caspase-1 deficient mice, suggesting a contribution from apoptotic caspases, in the induction of antibody responses. These results demonstrate that squalene-based vaccine adjuvants induce antigen-specific CD8 T cell and antibody responses, through RIPK3-dependent and-independent pathways, respectively.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
Article and author information
National Institutes of Health (R37 DK057665)
- Bali Pulendran
National Institutes of Health (R37 AI048638)
- Bali Pulendran
National Institutes of Health (U19 AI057266)
- Bali Pulendran
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#2002593) of Emory University.
- John W Schoggins, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States
- Received: October 12, 2019
- Accepted: June 8, 2020
- Accepted Manuscript published: June 9, 2020 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: June 24, 2020 (version 2)
- Version of Record updated: January 11, 2021 (version 3)
© 2020, Kim et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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