Effects of a Cetylpyridinium Chloride/Tween 80 Nanoemulsion on Dendritic Cell Activation in an in vitro Mucosal Microenvironment
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The effectiveness of flu vaccines depends on the reliability of vaccine producers to accurately predict circulating strains of influenza virus. This has proven to be a difficult task as current flu vaccines confer specific immunity and fail to elicit broad immunity to the rapidly mutating virus. Thus, research into the use of vaccine adjuvants that initiate broad immune reactivity has grown in the past twenty years. Alum, the most commonly used flu vaccine adjuvant, is suboptimal as it confers a short-term, specific response that is not potent for cross protection. As a solution to this problem, a cetylpyridinium chloride/Tween80 oil-in-water nanoemulsion (NE) was been designed for vaccine adjuvant purposes. To determine how this NE may activate dendritic cells in the immune response, the microenvironment of the epithelium was replicated in a co-culture of NE treated epithelial and dendritic cells. Levels of key protein kinases and retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH) in dendritic cells were measured through flow cytometry and Western Blot analysis. Dendritic cells directly stimulated with co-culture supernatant did not show increase in kinase activity, suggesting that dendritic cell activation from epithelial cells is contact dependent. Furthermore, NE treated epithelial cells increased the activation of p38 kinase while also dampening the activation of ERK1/2 in dendritic cells. Levels of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase were found to not be affected by NE treatment. These results lay the groundwork for further studies into the mechanism of dendritic cell activation by a novel NE.