Opioid use disorders (OUD) and fatal overdoses are a national emergency in the United States. Therapeutic vaccines offer a promising strategy to treat OUD and reduce the incidence of overdose. Immunization with opioid-based haptens conjugated to immunogenic carriers elicits opioid-specific antibodies that block opioid distribution to the brain and reduce opioid-induced behavior and toxicity in pre-clinical models. This study tested whether the efficacy of a lead oxycodone conjugate vaccine was improved by formulation in either aluminum hydroxide or the squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion MF59 adjuvant, which was recently FDA-approved for influenza vaccines in subjects 65+ years old. In adult BALB/c mice, alum formulation was more effective than MF59 at promoting the early expansion of hapten-specific B cells and the production of oxycodone-specific serum IgG antibodies, as well as blocking oxycodone distribution to the brain and oxycodone-induced motor activity. Alum was also more effective than MF59 at promoting early differentiation of peptide-specific MHCII-restricted CD4+ Tfh and GC-Tfh cells in adult C57Bl/6 mice immunized with a model peptide-protein conjugate. In contrast, alum and MF59 were equally effective in promoting hapten-specific B cells and peptide-specific MHCII-restricted CD4+ T cell differentiation in older C57Bl/6 mice. These data suggest that alum is a more effective adjuvant than MF59 for conjugate vaccines targeting synthetic small molecule haptens or peptide antigens in adult, but not aged, mice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute award (MP); NIH under Grant R01 DA041730 (MP); NIH under Grant T32DA007097 (CB); and the Socrates exchange program (CA).
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- B cell
- T cell
- germinal center
- opioid use disorder