Activation of dendritic cells by microparticles containing Bacillus anthracis protective antigen

Angie Westwood, Gareth D. Healey, E. Diane Williamson, Jim E. Eyles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We have carried out an in vitro investigation into the mechanism by which microencapsulation enhances the immunogenicity of recombinant protective antigen (rPA) from Bacillus anthracis. Murine bone marrow derived dendritic cells (DC) were cocultured with soluble and microencapsulated rPA and the activation status of the cells monitored using FACS. As compared with soluble rPA, it was found that coculture of DC with rPA-loaded microparticles stimulated higher levels of MHC II, CD54, CD80 and CD86 expression (p < 0.05). To investigate the longevity of antigen presentation, splenocytes from naïve mice were pulsed overnight with 3H-thymidine following 1, 3 or 6 days coculture with DC transiently exposed to soluble or microencapsulated rPA. Splenocyte proliferation was more pronounced, and continued for a more protracted period, if the 'feeder' cells were exposed to microencapsulated antigen as compared with soluble antigen or 'empty' microspheres. To this end, our findings indicate that microsphere uptake increases the surface expression of MHC and co-stimulatory molecules on DC and can facilitate prolonged presentation of antigen to T-cells, possibly by acting as an intracellular depot. Crown

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3857-3863
Number of pages7
Issue number29
StatePublished - May 31 2005


  • Anthrax
  • Antigen presentation
  • Dendritic cells
  • Microspheres
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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