Chitosan formulations improve the immunogenicity of a GnRH-I peptide-based vaccine

Leonardo Sáenz, Andrónico Neira-Carrillo, Rodolfo Paredes, Marlies Cortés, Sergio Bucarey, José L. Arias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Peptide vaccines using specific antigens with poor immunogenicity like GnRH-I are unable to develop an effective adaptive immune response and require the presence of adjuvants, essential to lymphocytic activation. Three chitosan formulations were evaluated for their ability as adjuvant of a poor immunogenic peptide vaccine against GnRH-I. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were immunized subcutaneously with recombinant His-GnRH-tandem-repeat peptide in high, low and phosphorylated high molecular weight chitosan solution at 0.5% (w/v). Freund's complete adjuvant was used as a positive control of immune response. Our results suggest that different chitosan formulations as adjuvant, with high or low viscosity degree allow inducing a high and persistent immune response against a poor immunogenic recombinant peptide. We found that the immune response was mediated by a increasing of IgG isotype 1, which were significantly greater than levels presented by the animals immunized with Freund's complete adjuvant. Nevertheless, chitosan with low molecular weight and highest acetylation degree was able to induce an immune response mediated by IgG isotype 2a. Additionally, high molecular weight phosphorylated chitosan, in which the phosphate groups were linked to N-acetyl-d-glucosamine unit, the immune response was reduced. All the immune responses obtained with chitosan as adjuvant were able to neutralize effectively the GnRH hormone proves by reducing of animal steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis demonstrating its capacity to improve immunogenicity in peptide vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2009


  • Adjuvant
  • Chitosan
  • GnRH-I vaccine
  • Peptide vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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