Complement dependency of splenic localization of pneumococcal polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines

MA Breukels, A Zandvoort, GT Rijkers, ME Lodewijk, PA Klok, G Harms, W Timens*

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

18 Citaten (Scopus)


The immune response to polysaccharides is initiated when polysaccharides bind complement factor C3d, and these polysaccharide-C3d complexes subsequently localize on splenic marginal zone B cells strongly expressing CD21 (complement receptor 2). Infants and children under the age of 2 years have low or absent expression of CD21 on their marginal zone B cells, and consequently do not adequately respond to polysaccharides. In contrast, polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines are able to induce antibodies at this young age. Conjugate vaccines apparently overcome the necessity for CD21-C3d interaction for an antipolysaccharide immune response.

We demonstrate in a rat model that localization of pneumococcal polysaccharides on splenic marginal zone B cells indeed is complement dependent. We also show that pneumococcal conjugates do not specifically localize oil splenic marginal zone B cells and that splenic localization of polysaccharide conjugates is independent of the presence of complement. Thus, the induction of antipolysaccharide antibodies by conjugate vaccines apparently can occur independently of CD21-C3d interaction. These basic findings may explain the effectiveness of conjugated vaccines in young children and may open the way for their application in other patient groups.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)322-328
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftScandinavian journal of immunology
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - apr.-2005


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