Clinical Adjuvant Combinations Stimulate Potent B-Cell Responses In Vitro by Activating Dermal Dendritic Cells Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium
  • Imidazoles
  • Langerhans Cells
  • Lipid A
  • Poly I-C
  • Polylysine


  • CD14(+) dermal DCs (CD14(+) DDCs) have a natural capacity to activate naïve B-cells. Targeting CD14(+) DDCs is therefore a rational approach for vaccination strategies aimed at improving humoral responses towards poorly immunogenic antigens, for example, HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env). Here, we show that two clinically relevant TLR ligand combinations, Hiltonol plus Resiquimod and Glucopyranosyl lipid A plus Resiquimod, potently activate CD14(+) DDCs, as shown by enhanced expression of multiple cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40 and TNF-α). Furthermore, the responses of CD14(+) DDCs to these TLR ligands were not compromised by the presence of HIV-1 gp120, which can drive immunosuppressive effects in vitro and in vivo. The above TLR ligand pairs were better than the individual agents at boosting the inherent capacity of CD14(+) DDCs to induce naïve B-cells to proliferate and differentiate into CD27(+) CD38(+) B-cells that secrete high levels of immunoglobulins. CD14(+) DDCs stimulated by these TLR ligand combinations also promoted the differentiation of Th1 (IFN-γ-secreting), but not Th17, CD4(+) T-cells. These observations may help to identify adjuvant strategies aimed at inducing better antibody responses to vaccine antigens, including, but not limited to HIV-1 Env.

publication date

  • May 20, 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3659025

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0063785

PubMed ID

  • 23700434

Additional Document Info

start page

  • e63785


  • 8


  • 5