Despite the possibility of combining Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands as adjuvants to improve vaccine efficacy, it remains unclear which combinations of TLR ligands are effective or what their underlying mechanisms may be. Here, we investigated the mechanism of action of L-pampo, a proprietary adjuvant composed of TLR1/2 and TLR3 ligands. L-pampo dramatically increased humoral immune responses against the tested target antigens, which was correlated with an increase in follicular helper T cells and the maintenance of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. During the initial priming phase, in contrast to the induction of type I interferon (IFN) and pro-inflammatory cytokines stimulated by polyI:C, L-pampo showed a greatly diminished induction of type I IFN, but not of other cytokines, and remarkably attenuated IRF3 signaling, which appeared to be critical to L-pampo-mediated adjuvanticity. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the adjuvant L-pampo contributes to the promotion of antigen-specific antibodies and CD4+ T cell responses via a fine regulation of the TLR1/2 and TLR3 signaling pathways, which may be helpful in the design of improved vaccines.
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