Immunization with a peptide corresponding to chlamydial heat shock protein 60 increases the humoral immune response in c3h mice to a peptide representing variable domain 4 of the major outer membrane protein of chlamydia trachomatis

Vladimir L. Motin, Luis M. De La Maza, Ellena M. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


C3H (H-2(k)) mice are susceptible to a vaginal challenge with human strains of Chlamydia trachomatis and thus are a useful strain for testing potential Chlamydia vaccine candidates. However, C3H mice are fairly poor responders in terms of the level of antibody resulting from immunization with potential protective peptides representing variable domains (VDs) of the major outer membrane protein (MOMP). C57BL/6 (H-2(b)) mice, on the other hand, are moderately resistant to a vaginal challenge but are good responders to the chlamydial MOMP VDs. Peptides representing universal T-cell helper epitopes were employed to determine whether the antibody response to a peptide representing VD4 of the MOMP, which has been shown to contain neutralizing epitopes, could be enhanced in C3H and C57 mice. Universal T- cell helper peptides from tetanus toxin, the pre-S2 region of hepatitis B virus, and the mouse heat shock protein 60, as well as the corresponding segment of the Chlamydia heat shock protein 60 (hsp(ct)), were coadministered with the VD4 peptide. Peptides were coencapsulated in liposomes containing the adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A and administered by using a combination of mucosal and intramuscular injection. The only T-cell helper peptide that improved the immune response as judged by antibody level, in vitro neutralization assays, and T-cell proliferation was hsp(ct). The response in the C57BL/6 strain was not significantly enhanced with hsP(ct) over levels achieved with VD4 alone; however, in C3H mice the levels of serum antibody to C. trachomatis increased to that seen in C57 mice. However, the molecular specificity and immunoglobulin subclass distribution differed from those of the C57 response, and the neutralizing titers and T-cell proliferation responses were lower. In both strains of mice, titers of vaginal antibody to C. trachomatis were low. In summary, of the T-helper peptides used, only hsp(ct) significantly enhanced the immune response of C3H mice to the VD4 peptide, but it had only a modest effect on the immune response of C57 mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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