GM-CSF-loaded chitosan hydrogel as an immunoadjuvant enhances antigen-specific immune responses with reduced toxicity

Kyung Hee Noh, Yeong Min Park, Hyuk Soon Kim, Tae Heung Kang, Kwon Ho Song, Young Ho Lee, Yeongseon Byeon, Hat Nim Jeon, In Duk Jung, Byung Cheol Shin, Kyung Mi Lee, Seung Yong Seong, Hee Dong Han, Tae Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The application of vaccine adjuvants has been vigorously studied for a diverse range of diseases in order to improve immune responses and reduce toxicity. However, most adjuvants have limited uses in clinical practice due to their toxicity. Methods: Therefore, to reduce health risks associated with the use of such adjuvants, we developed an advanced non-toxic adjuvant utilizing biodegradable chitosan hydrogel (CH-HG) containing ovalbumin (OVA) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) as a local antigen delivery system. Results: After subcutaneous injection into mice, OVA/GM-CSF-loaded CH-HG demonstrated improved safety and enhanced OVA-specific antibody production compared to oil-based adjuvants such as Complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or Incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA). Moreover, CH-HG system-mediated immune responses was characterized by increased number of OVA-specific CD4 and CD8 INF-γ T cells, leading to enhanced humoral and cellular immunity. Conclusions: In this study, the improved safety and enhanced immune response characteristics of our novel adjuvant system suggest the possibility of the extended use of adjuvants in clinical practice with reduced apprehension about toxic side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalBMC Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 18

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded the Korea government (NRF-2012R1A2A1A03008433) (Y.M.P.), (NRF-2013M3A9D3045881), and (NRF-2012R1A2A2A01007527). This work was supported by Basic Research Laboratory Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (No.2013R1A4A1069575) (H.D.H.). This work was supported by a grant of the Korea Healthcare technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A062260) (T.W.K.).

Publisher Copyright:
© Noh et al.


  • Adjuvant
  • Chitosan
  • Hydrogel
  • Immune response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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