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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Targeting IL-23 by employing a p40 peptide-based vaccine ameliorates murine allergic skin and airway inflammation

Authors

  • Q. Guan,

    1. Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    2. Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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  • Y. Ma,

    1. Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    2. Biology of Breathing Theme, Manitoba Institute of Child Health, Winnipeg, Canada
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  • L. Aboud,

    1. Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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  • C. R. Weiss,

    1. Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    2. Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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  • G. Qing,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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  • R. J. Warrington,

    1. Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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  • Z. Peng

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    2. Biology of Breathing Theme, Manitoba Institute of Child Health, Winnipeg, Canada
    • Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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Correspondence:

Dr Z. Peng, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, 532-715 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 3P4, Canada.

E-mail: zpeng@mich.ca

Summary

Background

Studies have found that the IL-23/Th17 pathway plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) and severe and steroid-resistant asthma. Targeting IL-23/Th17 pathway with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) has been successful in the reduction of skin and airway inflammation in animal models. However, the mAb has a short half-life, requiring repeated administrations. For the long-term suppression of IL-23/Th17 pathway, we have previously developed an IL-23p40 peptide-based virus-like particle vaccine, which induces long-lasting autoantibodies to IL-23.

Objective

We sought to evaluate the effects of this IL-23p40 peptide-based vaccine on the down-regulation of allergic skin and airway inflammation in mice.

Methods

Mice were subcutaneously injected three times with the IL-23p40 vaccine, or the vaccine carrier protein or saline as controls. Two weeks later, mice were epicutaneously sensitized with ovalbumin four times at a 2-week interval. One week after the final sensitization, mice were nasally administrated with ovalbumin daily for 3 days. One day later, bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF), sera, lung and skin tissues were obtained and analysed.

Results

Mice immunized with the vaccine produced high levels of IgG antibodies to IL-23, p40 and IL-12 that in vitro inhibited IL-23-dependent IL-17 production. The numbers of total cells, neutrophils, and eosinophils in BALF were significantly reduced in the vaccine group, compared with controls. The levels of IL-13, IL-5, IL-23 and, IL-17 in BALF and levels of serum ovalbumin-specific IgE, IgG1, and total IgE were also significantly decreased. Histological analysis showed less inflammation of the lung and skin tissues in the vaccine group, compared with controls.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

Administration of an IL-23p40 peptide-based vaccine down-regulates allergic skin and airway inflammation, suggesting that this strategy may be a potential therapeutic approach in the treatment of AD and asthma.

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