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Structurally distinct nicotine immunogens elicit antibodies with non-overlapping specificities

Nicotine conjugate vaccine efficacy is limited by the concentration of nicotine-specific antibodies that can be reliably generated in serum. Previous studies suggest that the concurrent use of 2 structurally distinct nicotine immunogens in rats can generate additive antibody responses by stimulating distinct B cell populations. In the current study we investigated whether it is possible to identify a third immunologically distinct nicotine immunogen. The new 1'-SNic immunogen (2S)-N,N'-(disulfanediyldiethane-2,1-diyl)bis[4-(2-pyridin-3-ylpyrrolidi n-1-yl)butanamide] conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) differed from the existing immunogens 3'-AmNic-rEPA and 6-CMUNic-BSA in linker position, linker composition, conjugation chemistry, and carrier protein. Vaccination of rats with 1'-SNic-KLH elicited high concentrations of high affinity nicotine-specific antibodies. The antibodies produced in response to 1'-SNic-KLH did not appreciably cross-react in ELISA with either 3'-AmNic-rEPA or 6-CMUNic-BSA or vice versa, showing that the B cell populations activated by each of these nicotine immunogens were non-overlapping and distinct. Nicotine retention in serum was increased and nicotine distribution to brain substantially reduced in rats vaccinated with 1'-SNic-KLH compared to controls. Effects of 1'-SNic-KLH on nicotine distribution were comparable to those of 3'-AmNic-rEPA which has progressed to late stage clinical trials as an adjunct to smoking cessation. These data show that it is possible to design multiple immunogens from a small molecule such as nicotine which elicit independent immune responses. This approach could be applicable to other addiction vaccines or small molecule targets as well. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved


Pravetoni, M., Keyler, DE., Pidaparthi, R., Carroll, F., Runyon, S., Murtaugh, MP., ... Pentel, PR. (2012). Structurally distinct nicotine immunogens elicit antibodies with non-overlapping specificities. Biochemical Pharmacology, 83(4), 543-550. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2011.11.004

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