Aluminum hydroxide adjuvant induces macrophage differentiation towards a specialized antigen-presenting cell type.
Vaccine. 2004 Aug 13 ;22(23-24):3127-35. PMID: 15297065
Aluminum hydroxide (AlOOH) has been used for many years as a vaccine adjuvant, but little is known about its mechanism of action. We investigated in this study the in vitro effect of aluminum hydroxide adjuvant on isolated macrophages. We showed that AlOOH-stimulated macrophages contain large and persistent intracellular crystalline inclusions, a characteristic property of muscle infiltrated macrophages described in animal models of vaccine injection, as well as in the recently described macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF) histological reaction in humans. AlOOH-loaded macrophages exhibited phenotypical and functional modifications, as they expressed the classical markers of myeloid dendritic cells (HLA-DR(high)/CD86(high)/CD83(+)/CD1a(-)/CD14(-)) and displayed potent ability to induce MHC-II-restricted antigen specific memory responses, but kept a macrophage morphology. This suggests a key role of macrophages, in the reaction to AlOOH-adjuvanted vaccines and these mature antigen-presenting macrophages may therefore be of particular importance in the establishment of memory responses and in vaccination mechanisms leading to long-lasting protection.