The identification of natural adjuvants capable of selectively promoting an efficient immune response against infectious agents would represent an important advance in immunology, with direct implications for vaccine development, whose progress is generally hampered by the difficulties in defining powerful synthetic adjuvants suitable for clinical use. Here, we demonstrate that endogenous type I IFN is necessary for the Th1 type of immune response induced by typical adjuvants in mice and that IFN itself is an unexpectedly powerful adjuvant when administered with the human influenza vaccine, for inducing IgG2a and IgA production and conferring protection from virus challenge. The finding that these cytokines, currently used in patients, are necessary for full expression of adjuvant activity and are sufficient for the generation of a protective immune response opens new perspectives in understanding the basis of immunity and in vaccine development.
Type I IFN as a natural adjuvant for a protective immune response: Lessons from the influenza vaccine model / E., Proietti; L., Bracci; S., Puzelli; T., Di Pucchio; P., Sestili; E., De Vincenzi; Venditti, Mario; I., Capone; I., Seif; E., De Maeyer; D., Tough; I., Donatelli; F., Belardelli. - In: JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-1767. - STAMPA. - 169:1(2002), pp. 375-383.