Host factors such as nutritional status and immune cell state are important for vaccine efficacy. Inflammasome activation may be important for triggering vaccine-induced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Formulations with alum as a typical adjuvant to overcome the effects of host factors have recently been shown to induce inflammasome activation, which augments vaccine efficacy. Apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC) is one of the main components of inflammasomes, but it is not clear whether ASC affects the vaccine-induced immune response. Herein, we used two types of vaccines: inactivated influenza vaccine not formulated with alum, and HPV vaccine formulated with alum. We gave the vaccines to ASC knockout (ASC−/−) mice to investigate the role of ASC in vaccine efficacy. Influenza vaccine-immunized ASC−/− mice did not show antibody titers in week 2 after the first vaccination. After boosting, the antibody titer in ASC−/− mice was about half that in wild type (WT) mice. Furthermore, a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response against influenza vaccine was not induced in ASC−/− mice. Therefore, vaccinated ASC−/− mice did not show effective protection against viral challenge. ASC−/− mice immunized with alum-formulated HPV vaccine showed similar antibody titers and T-cell proliferation compared with immunized WT mice. However, the HPV vaccine without alum induced up to threefold lower titers of HPV-specific antibody titers in ASC−/− mice compared with those in WT mice. These findings suggest that alum in vaccine can overcome the ASC-deficient condition.
- HPV vaccine
- influenza vaccine