GLA-SE, a Synthetic Toll-like Receptor 4 Agonist, Enhances T-Cell Responses to Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults

Hayedeh Behzad, Anke L. W. Huckriede, Laura Haynes, Beth Gentleman, Krysta Coyle, Jan C. Wilschut, Tobias R. Kollmann, Steven G. Reed, Janet E. McElhaney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The decline in influenza vaccine efficacy in older adults is associated with a limited ability of current split-virus vaccines (SVVs) to stimulate cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses required for clinical protection against influenza.

Methods. The Toll-like receptor 4 agonist glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant-stable emulsion (GLA-SE) was combined with SVV to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro to determine the cytokine response in dendritic cell subsets. Stimulated PBMCs were then challenged with live influenza virus to mimic the response to natural infection following vaccination, using previously identified T-cell correlates of protection.

Results. GLA-SE significantly increased the proportion of myeloid dendritic cells that produced tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 6, and interleukin 12. When combined with SVV to stimulate PBMCs in vitro, this effect of GLA-SE was shown to regulate a T-helper 1 cell response upon challenge with live influenza virus; interleukin 10 production was suppressed, thus significantly increasing the interferon gamma to interleukin 10 ratio and the cytolytic (granzyme B) response to influenza virus challenge, both of which have been shown to correlate with protection against influenza in older adults.

Conclusions. Our findings suggest that a novel adjuvant, GLA-SE, combined with standard SVV has the potential to significantly improve vaccine-mediated protection against influenza in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of infectious diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2012


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