Pustulan activates chicken bone marrow-derived dendritic cells in vitro and promotes ex vivo CD4+ T cell recall response to infectious bronchitis virus

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Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a highly contagious avian coronavirus. IBV causes substantial worldwide economic losses in the poultry industry. Vaccination with live-attenuated viral vaccines, therefore, are of critical importance. Live-attenuated viral vaccines, however, exhibit the potential for reversion to virulence and recombination with virulent field strains. Therefore, alternatives such as subunit vaccines are needed together with the identification of suitable adjuvants, as subunit vaccines are less immunogenic than live-attenuated vaccines. Several glycan-based adjuvants directly targeting mammalian C-type lectin receptors were assessed in vitro using chicken bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BM-DCs). The β-1-6-glucan, pustulan, induced an up-regulation of MHC class II (MHCII) cell surface expression, potentiated a strong proinflammatory cytokine response, and increased endocytosis in a cation-dependent manner. Ex vivo co-culture of peripheral blood monocytes from IBV-immunised chickens, and BM-DCs pulsed with pustulan-adjuvanted recombinant IBV N protein (rN), induced a strong recall response. Pustulan-adjuvanted rN induced a significantly higher CD4+ blast percentage compared to either rN, pustulan or media. However, the CD8+ and TCRγδ+ blast percentage were significantly lower with pustulan-adjuvanted rN compared to pustulan or media. Thus, pustulan enhanced the efficacy of MHCII antigen presentation, but apparently not the cross-presentation on MHCI. In conclusion, we found an immunopotentiating effect of pustulan in vitro using chicken BM-DCs. Thus, future in vivo studies might show pustulan as a promising glycan-based adjuvant for use in the poultry industry to contain the spread of coronaviridiae as well as of other avian viral pathogens.
Original languageEnglish
Article number226
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • chicken, pustulan, BM-DC, IBV, subunit vaccination, APC-targeting, adjuvant

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