• Pidotimod promotes functional maturation of dendritic cells and displays adjuvant properties at the nasal mucosa level.

      Giagulli, Cinzia; Noerder, Miriam; Avolio, Manuela; Becker, Pablo D; Fiorentini, Simona; Guzman, Carlos A; Caruso, Arnaldo; Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine, Section of Microbiology, University of Brescia, Medical School, Brescia, Italy. (2009-11)
      Mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) are very important in the process of antigen presentation to T cells, playing a key role in the induction of primary and secondary immune responses. Pidotimod is a synthetic substance capable of modulating immune cell functions, but the effect of pidotimod on human DCs has not been investigated yet. Here we demonstrate the ability of pidotimod to induce DC maturation and up-regulate the expression of HLA-DR and co-stimulatory molecules CD83 and CD86, which are fundamental for communication with adaptative immunity cells. Pidotimod also stimulated DCs to release high amounts of pro-inflammatory molecules such as MCP-1 and TNF-alpha cytokines and to drive T cell proliferation and differentiation towards a Th1 phenotype. Moreover, we demonstrate that pidotimod in vivo promotes strong and specific humoral and cellular immune response when co-administered intranasally with a model antigen. Taken together our data suggest the possibility to use pidotimod as adjuvant molecule to facilitate the activation of the innate immune system as well as to promote an effective mucosal and systemic immune response.
    • Replication-deficient mutant Herpes Simplex Virus-1 targets professional antigen presenting cells and induces efficient CD4+ T helper responses.

      Fiorentini, Simona; Marconi, Peggy; Avolio, Manuela; Marini, Elena; Garrafa, Emirena; Caracciolo, Sonia; Rossi, Daniele; Bozac, Alexandra; Becker, Pablo D; Gentili, Francesca; et al. (2007-07)
      Both neutralizing antibodies and cytotoxic T-cells are necessary to control a viral infection. However, vigorous T helper responses are essential for their elicitation and maintenance. Here we show that a recombinant replication-deficient Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-1 vector encoding the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 matrix protein p17 (T0-p17) was capable of infecting professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) in vitro and in vivo. The injection of T0-p17 in the mouse dermis generated a strong p17-specific CD4+ T helper response preceding both p17-specific humoral and effector T cell responses. Moreover, we show that T0-p17 infection did not interfere with the endogenous processing of the transgene encoded antigen, since infected APCs were able to evoke a strong recall response in vitro. Our results demonstrate that replication-deficient HSV vectors can be appealing candidates for the development of vaccines able to trigger T helper responses.