Understanding key intervention points in developing immune responses may allow the rational inclusion of biological adjuvants into vaccines that could potentiate the immune response both quantitatively and qualitatively and enhance effective memory responses. Cytokine and chemokine combinations can potentially help target antigen to the appropriate antigen presenting cell and initiate maturation of these presenting cells, attract cells expressing different chemokine receptors, steer cellular immune responses toward Th1 and CD8 CTL, and enhance systemic and mucosal IgG and secretory IgA antibodies and determine their isotype balance. Animal protection studies suggest that synergistic combinations of cytokines and immunomodulating molecules may be required to protect from a viral challenge. For example, GM-CSF has been shown to be synergistic with IL-12 or CD40 ligand for induction of CTL and for antiviral protection, and the triple combination of GM-CSF, IL-12, and TNF alpha appears to induce the most effective protection in some mouse models. Chemokineantigen fusions have also been shown to enhance immunogenicity of the antigen. Combinations of costimulatory molecules have been found to be synergistic when incorporated in a vaccine. Combined use of newer more potent vaccine constructs, containing codon optimized epitopes, relevant CpG motifs, cytokines, costimulatory molecules and chemokines, used in heterologous prime-boost strategies with viral vector vaccines or recombinant proteins, might afford the most potent vaccine approaches yet developed. In this review we will discuss the application and delivery of cytokines, costimulatory molecules, and chemokines toward improving current vaccine strategies.
Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.