Targeting and activation of antigen-specific B-cells by calcium phosphate nanoparticles loaded with protein antigen
Cross-linking of the B-cell receptors of an antigen-specific B-cell is the initial signal for B-cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation into antibody secreting plasma cells. Since multivalent particulate structures are efficient activators of antigen-specific B-cells, we developed biodegradable calcium phosphate nanoparticles displaying protein antigens on their surface and explored the efficacy of the B-cell activation after exposure to these nanoparticles. The calcium phosphate nanoparticles were functionalized with the model antigen Hen Egg Lysozyme (HEL) to take advantage of a HEL-specific B-cell receptor transgenic mouse model. The nanoparticles were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The functionalized calcium phosphate nanoparticles were preferentially bound and internalized by HEL-specific B-cells. Co-cultivation of HEL-specific B-cells with the functionalized nanoparticles also increased surface expression of B-cell activation markers. Functionalized nanoparticles were able to effectively cross-link B-cell receptors at the surface of antigen-matched B-cells and were 100-fold more efficient in the activation of B-cells than soluble HEL. Thus, calcium phosphate nanoparticles coated with protein antigens are promising vaccine candidates for induction humoral immunity.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 35, Issue 23, July 2014, Pages 6098–6105