Glycolipid-peptide vaccination induces liver-resident memory CD8+ T cells that protect against rodent malaria
The liver is an important site of replication for Plasmodium parasites, and therefore a key goal in vaccination against malaria is to induce robust antiparasitic immunity in the liver. Using Plasmodium berghei as a model to study malaria in mice, Holz et al. have developed a glycolipid-peptide conjugate vaccine that induced robust T cell responses in the liver and was able to protect mice when challenged with P. berghei. Inclusion of the glycolipid adjuvant, α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) that activates natural killer T (NKT) cells was vital to promoting antiparasitic immunity in the liver. The authors propose that agonists that activate NKT cells could be useful in priming immune responses in the liver in the context of malaria and in other hepatotropic diseases.