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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Mar 17;106(11):4343-8

Antigen-specific B-1a antibodies induced by Francisella tularensis LPS provide long-term protection against F. tularensis LVS challenge.

Cole LE, Yang Y, Elkins KL, Fernandez ET, Qureshi N, Shlomchik MJ, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA, Vogel SN


Francisella tularensis (Ft), a gram-negative intracellular bacterium, is the etiologic agent of tularemia. Infection of mice with <10 Ft Live Vaccine Strain (Ft LVS) organisms i.p. causes a lethal infection that resembles human tularemia. Here, we show that immunization with as little as 0.1 ng Ft LVS lipopolysaccharide (Ft-LPS), but not Ft lipid A, generates a rapid antibody response that protects wild-type (WT) mice against lethal Ft LVS challenge. Protection is not induced in Ft-LPS-immunized B cell-deficient mice (muMT or JhD), male xid mice, or Ig transgenic mice that produce a single IgH (not reactive with Ft-LPS). Focusing on the cellular mechanisms that underlie this protective response, we show that Ft-LPS specifically stimulates proliferation of B-1a lymphocytes that bind fluorochrome-labeled Ft-LPS and the differentiation of these cells to plasma cells that secrete antibodies specific for Ft-LPS. This exclusively B-1a antibody response is equivalent in WT, T-deficient (TCRalphabeta(-/-), TCRgammadelta(-/-)), and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-deficient (TLR4(-/-)) mice and thus is not dependent on T cells or typical inflammatory processes. Serum antibody levels peak approximately 5 days after Ft-LPS immunization and persist at low levels for months. Thus, immunization with Ft-LPS activates a rare population of antigen-specific B-1a cells to produce a persistent T-independent antibody response that provides long-term protection against lethal Ft LVS infection. These data support the possibility of creating effective, minimally invasive vaccines that can provide effective protection against pathogen invasion.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #19251656 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0813411106
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29