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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Early inflammatory response to the saponin adjuvant Matrix-M in the pig

Fossum, Caroline; Hjertner, Bernt; Ahlberg, Viktor; Charerntantanakul, Wasin; McIntosh, Kathy; Fuxler, Lisbeth; Balagunaseelan, Navisraj; Wallgren, Per; Lövgren Bengtsson, Karin


The early inflammatory response to Matrix-M was evaluated in pigs. Adverse reactions measured as body temperature, appetite, activity level and reaction at the site of injection were not observed after s.c. injection with three doses of the adjuvant (75, 100 or 150 mu g) into one week old piglets. Analyses of the immediate cytokine response of PBMC after in vitro exposure to Matrix-M (AbISCO-100 (R)) revealed only a low expression of mRNA for tumour necrosis factor-alpha (p < 0.05) after 6 h incubation. Histological examination revealed an infiltration of leukocytes, haemorrhage and necrosis in muscle 24 h after i.m. injection of 150 mu g Matrix-M in pigs aged eleven weeks. At this time, different grades of reactive lymphoid hyperplasia were recorded in the draining lymph node that was enlarged in three of these six pigs injected with Matrix-M. The global transcriptional response at the site of injection and in the draining lymph node was analyzed using Affymetrix GeneChip Porcine Genome Array. A significant enrichment of gene signatures for the cell types described as "myeloid cells" and "plasmacytoid dendritic cells" was observed at the site of injection in Matrix-M injected pigs compared with pigs injected with saline. A number of genes encoding cytokines/chemokines or their receptors were upregulated at the injection site as well as in the draining lymph node. In the draining lymph node, a majority of the upregulated genes were interferon-regulated genes (IRGs). The expression of IFN-beta, but not IFN-alpha, was increased in the draining lymph nodes of a majority of the pigs exposed to Matrix-M. These IFN-beta expressing pigs also expressed increased levels of osteopontin (OPN) or stimulator of interferon genes (STING), two factors known to facilitate the expression of type I IFNs in response to viral infection. Thus, Matrix-M does not appear to induce any harmful inflammatory response in piglets whilst contributing to the innate immunity by activating the type I IFN system, possibly through several alternative signalling pathways. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Matrix-M; ISCOM; Pig; Transcriptional; NETs; IRGs; Adjuvant

Published in

Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
2014, volume: 158, number: 1-2, pages: 53-61

Authors' information

Ahlberg, Viktor
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Charerntantanakul, Wasin
McIntosh, Kathy
Fuxler, Lisbeth
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Balagunaseelan, Navisraj
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)
Lövgren Bengtsson, Karin

UKÄ Subject classification

Medical Bioscience

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