B-Cell Responses to Lipopolysaccharide Epitopes: Who Sees What First – Does It Matter?


William F. Wade, Dartmouth Medical School, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 630W. Borwell Bldg., Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.
E-mail: william.wade@dartmouth.edu


Problem  Cholera is the paradigm for waterborne bacterial diseases. For over a 100 years, scientists have tried to develop a universally effective vaccine for cholera. We are hampered in our efforts because we do not know the details of the basic immune response to Vibrio cholerae antigens. What are the most proactive antigens? What special needs for immunization are engendered by previous exposure to cholera or the age of the individual? How long does immunity last, and is this immunity a classic immunologic memory or re-exposure and continual boosting?

Method of study  Immunization with synthetic derivatives of the carbohydrate moieties of V. cholerae lipopolysaccharide (LPS) coupled to different carrier proteins (neoglycoconjugates, NGC) has allowed dissection of the response to the disaccharide array of perosamine that represent either the Inaba or the Ogawa serotype. Studying serum anti-LPS endpoint titers and the serum vibriocidal response to NGC provides insight into the importance of LPS serotype-specific B-cell epitopes and how antibody response are influenced by the form of the LPS immunogen.

Results  We found that murine serum antibody responses to V. cholerae LPS are dynamic. The magnitude of serum anti-LPS antibody titers and the capacity to induced vibriocidal antibodies (immunoglobulin M) are influenced by the initial immunizing serotype of LPS, the structure of the LPS immunogen (native LPS versus NGC), and the order of serotype immunization in a prime boost immunization strategy. The dynamic of the immune response to LPS immunogens is typified by the fact that the host species can affect the immunization response. We found mice do not make vibriocidal antibody to Inaba NGC but rabbits do. This is in contrast to the Ogawa NGC that induced vibriocidal antibody in mice.

Conclusion  The results suggest that the host's B-cell repertoire can influence the immunization efficacy; therefore, the development of the new generation of NGC V. cholerae vaccines should focus on human volunteers and their ability to mount protective responses.