Imaging Methods for Assessment and Quantification of in vivo Antigen Capture and Vaccination
Abstract (Set) Immunization has eradicated many harmful infectious diseases in the Western world. This is commonly achieved by injecting individuals with attenuated pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. By using cancer vaccines, similar success will be achieved for eradicating the most common forms of cancer. However, as of today, significant hurdles exist to make this work. For successful immunization, it is mandatory that dendritic cells (DC), cells that initiate the immune response, take up antigen and traffic to lymph nodes in order to present these antigens to T cells. There is currently no non-invasive means to visualize and quantify this process. Thus, little is known about the time course of events, or parameters that improve the efficiency of this process. The present invention describes methods to label vaccines and to image non-invasively the subsequent capture of antigens by dendritic cells. The invention also includes a novel image-based method to quantify cells that deliver antigen within lymph nodes. The invention will be useful to evaluate the efficacy of vaccination, and to help guide the development of immune adjuvants. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) The ability to track vaccines and DCs will make it possible to assay the effectiveness of vaccines and immunoadjuvants, both quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of uptake by antigen presenting cells, migration to the lymph nodes and activation of T cells. This in turn will aid in the development of new vaccines and immunoadjuvants and also provide a method to monitor the effect of a vaccine within a patient. In addition, the co-localization of T cells labeled with a different contrast agent will allow the efficacy of T cell activation by the DCs to be studied.
Bulte, Jeff W. M. ,Levitsky, Hyam,Long, Christopher
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