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Sublingual immunization induces broad-based systemic and mucosal immune responses in mice.

Magazine article
Authors Nicolas Cuburu
Mi-Na Kweon
Joo-Hye Song
Catherine Hervouet
Carmelo Luci
Jia-Bin Sun
Paul Hofman
Jan Holmgren
Fabienne Anjuère
Cecil Czerkinsky
Published in Vaccine
Volume 25
Issue 51
Pages 8598-610
ISSN 0264-410X
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Pages 8598-610
Language en
Keywords Adjuvants, Immunologic, Administration, Sublingual, Adoptive Transfer, Animals, Antibodies, Viral, analysis, biosynthesis, Antibody-Producing Cells, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, immunology, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, immunology, Cholera Toxin, immunology, Cytokines, biosynthesis, Dendritic Cells, immunology, Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic, Female, Flow Cytometry, Immunity, Mucosal, immunology, Immunization, methods, Immunohistochemistry, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mouth Mucosa, cytology, immunology, Ovalbumin, immunology, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


The potential of sublingual (s.l.) delivery of vaccine was examined in mice. We show the existence of a dense network of dendritic cells (DCs) in the s.l. epithelium and a rapid and transient increase in the frequency of s.l. DCs after topical application of cholera toxin (CT) adjuvant under the tongue. S.l. immunization with ovalbumin and CT induced vigorous systemic and mucosal antibody responses. Such treatment promoted mixed Th1 and Th2 cytokine responses and induced cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells in lung tissues and in systemic lymphoid organs. S.l. immunization was comparable to intranasal immunization and was superior to oral immunization regarding the magnitude and anatomic dissemination of the induced immune responses. S.l. administration of live influenza virus at a dose lethal by the nasal route was well tolerated and did not redirect virus to the olfactory bulb. These features underscore the potential of the s.l. mucosa to serve as an alternative vaccine delivery route.

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