Sen Chaudhuri A, Yeh YW, Zewdie O, Li NS, Sun JB, Jin T, Wei B, Holmgren J, Xiang Z
Mucosal Immunol - (-) - [2022-06-21; online 2022-06-21]
The lack of clinically applicable mucosal adjuvants is a major hurdle in designing effective mucosal vaccines. We hereby report that the calcium-binding protein S100A4, which regulates a wide range of biological functions, is a potent mucosal adjuvant in mice for co-administered antigens, including the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, with comparable or even superior efficacy as cholera toxin but without causing any adverse reactions. Intranasal immunization with recombinant S100A4 elicited antigen-specific antibody and pulmonary cytotoxic T cell responses, and these responses were remarkably sustained for longer than 6 months. As a self-protein, S100A4 did not stimulate antibody responses against itself, a quality desired of adjuvants. S100A4 prolonged nasal residence of intranasally delivered antigens and promoted migration of antigen-presenting cells. S100A4-pulsed dendritic cells potently activated cognate T cells. Furthermore, S100A4 induced strong germinal center responses revealed by both microscopy and mass spectrometry, a novel label-free technique for measuring germinal center activity. Importantly, S100A4 did not induce olfactory bulb inflammation after nasal delivery, which is often a safety concern for nasal vaccination. In conclusion, S100A4 may be a promising adjuvant in formulating mucosal vaccines, including vaccines against pathogens that infect via the respiratory tract, such as SARS-CoV-2.