Multi-walled carbon nanotubes increase antibody-producing B cells in mice immunized with a tetravalent vaccine candidate for dengue virus

Luan P. Calegari, Roberto S. Dias, Michelle D. Oliveira, Carine Ribeiro Pessoa, André S. Oliveira, Ana F.C.S. Oliveira, Cynthia C. Silva, Flavio G. Fonseca, Alice F. Versiani, Sérgio O. Paula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In recent times, studies have demonstrated that carbon nanotubes are good candidates for use as vehicles for transfection of exogenous material into the cells. However, there are few studies evaluating the behavior of carbon nanotubes as DNA vectors and few of these studies have used multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) or carboxylated MWCNTs. Thus, this study aims to assess the MWCNTs' (carboxylated or not) efficiency in the increase in expression of the tetravalent vaccine candidate (TVC) plasmid vector for dengue virus in vitro using Vero cells, and in vivo, through the intramuscular route, to evaluate the immunological response profile. Results: Multi-walled carbon nanotubes internalized by Vero cells, have been found in the cytoplasm and nucleus associated with the plasmid. However, it was not efficient to increase the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) compared to the pure vaccine candidate associated with Lipofectamine® 2000. The in vivo experiments showed that the use of intramuscular injection of the TVC in combination with MWCNTs reduced the immune response compared to pure TVC, in a general way, although an increase was observed in the population of the antibody-producing B cells, as compared to pure TVC. Conclusions: The results confirm the data found by other authors, which demonstrate the ability of nanotubes to penetrate target cells and reach both the cytoplasm and the cell nucleus. The cytotoxicity values are also in accordance with the literature, which range from 5 to 20 μg/mL. This has been found to be 10 μg/mL in this study. Although the expression levels are higher in cells that receive the pure TVC transfected using Lipofectamine® 2000, the nanotubes show an increase in B-cells producing antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 27 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Dengue
  • Intramuscular route
  • Multi-walled carbon nanotubes
  • Vaccine
  • Vero cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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