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The Japanese herbal medicines, Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) and Hochu-ekki-to (HET), have been shown to enhance humoral immune responses to vaccine antigen when used as adjuvants for prophylactic vaccines. However, their adjuvant effect on mucosal cellular immune responses remains unstudied. The precursor lesion of cervical cancer, high-grade CIN that expresses HPV E7 oncoprotein ubiquitously is a target for HPV therapeutic vaccines that elicit mucosal E7-specific type 1 T cell responses. We have demonstrated that oral immunization with recombinant Lactobacillus casei expressing HPV16 E7 (LacE7) is more effective in eliciting mucosal E7-specific IFNγ-producing cells than subcutaneous or intramuscular antigen delivery. Here we report the synergistic effect of an oral Lactobacillus-based vaccine and Japanese herbal medicines on mucosal immune responses. Oral immunization of mice with LacE7 plus either a Japanese herbal medicine (JTT or HET) or a mucosal adjuvant, heated-labile enterotoxin T subunit (LTB), promotes systemic E7-specific type 1 T cell responses but not mucosal responses. Administration of LacE7 plus either Japanese herbal medicine and LTB enhanced mucosal E7-specific type 1 T cell response to levels approximately 3-fold higher than those after administration of LacE7 alone. Furthermore, secretion of IFNγ and IL-2 into the intestinal lumen was observed after oral administration of LacE7 and was enhanced considerably by the addition of Japanese herbal medicines and LTB. Our data indicated that Japanese herbal medicines, in synergy with Lactobacillus and LTB, enhance the mucosal type 1 immune responses to orally immunized antigen. Japanese herbal medicines may be excellent adjuvants for oral Lactobacillus-based vaccines and oral immunization of LacE7, HET and LTB may have the potential to elicit extremely high E7-specific mucosal cytotoxic immune response to HPV-associated neoplastic lesions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Ayumi Taguchi, Kei Kawana, Terufumi Yokoyama, Katsuyuki Adachi, Aki Yamashita, Kensuke Tomio, Satoko Kojima, Katsutoshi Oda, Tomoyuki Fujii, Shiro Kozuma. Adjuvant effect of Japanese herbal medicines on the mucosal type 1 immune responses to human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 in mice immunized orally with Lactobacillus-based therapeutic HPV vaccine in a synergistic manner. Vaccine. 2012 Aug 3;30(36):5368-72

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PMID: 22727726

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