Dendritic Cell Targeted Chitosan Nanoparticles for Nasal DNA Immunization against SARS CoV Nucleocapsid Protein

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This work investigates the formulation and in vivo efficacy of dendritic cell (DC) targeted plasmid DNA loaded biotinylated chitosan nanoparticles for nasal immunization against nucleocapsid (N) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) as antigen. The induction of antigen-specific mucosal and systemic immune response at the site of virus entry is a major challenge for vaccine design. Here, we designed a strategy for non-invasive receptor mediated gene delivery to nasal resident DCs. The pDNA loaded biotinylated chitosan nanoparticles were prepared using a complex coacervation process and characterized for size, shape, surface charge, plasmid loading and protection against nuclease digestion. The pDNA loaded biotinylated chitosan nanoparticles were targeted with bifunctional fusion protein (bfFp) vector for achieving DC selective targeting. The bfFp is a recombinant fusion protein consisting of truncated core-streptavidin fused with anti-DEC-205 single chain antibody (scFv). The core-streptavidin arm of fusion protein binds with biotinylated nanoparticles, while anti-DEC-205 scFv imparts targeting specificity to DC DEC-205 receptor. We demonstrate that intranasal administration of bfFp targeted formulations along with anti-CD40 DC maturation stimuli enhanced magnitude of mucosal IgA as well as systemic IgG against N protein. The strategy led to the detection of augmented levels of N protein specific systemic IgG and nasal IgA antibodies. However, following intranasal delivery of naked pDNA no mucosal and systemic immune responses were detected. A parallel comparison of targeted formulations using intramuscular and intranasal route showed that the intramuscular route is superior for induction of systemic IgG responses compared with the intranasal route. Our results suggest that targeted pDNA delivery through non-invasive intranasal route can be a strategy for designing low-dose vaccines.


This article was originally published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, volume 9, issue 4, in 2012. DOI: 10.1021/mp200553x


American Chemical Society