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There is currently no paradigm in immunology that enables an accurate prediction of how the immune system will respond to any given agent. Here we show that the immunological responses induced by members of a broad class of inorganic crystalline materials are controlled purely by their physicochemical properties in a highly predictable manner. We show that structurally and chemically homogeneous layered double hydroxides (LDHs) can elicit diverse human dendritic cell responses in vitro. Using a systems vaccinology approach, we find that every measured response can be modeled using a subset of just three physical and chemical properties for all compounds tested. This correlation can be reduced to a simple linear equation that enables the immunological responses stimulated by newly synthesized LDHs to be predicted in advance from these three parameters alone. We also show that mouse antigen-specific antibody responses in vivo and human macrophage responses in vitro are controlled by the same properties, suggesting they may control diverse responses at both individual component and global levels of immunity. This study demonstrates that immunity can be determined purely by chemistry and opens the possibility of rational manipulation of immunity for therapeutic purposes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1084/jem.20131768

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Exp Med

Publication Date

02/06/2014

Volume

211

Pages

1019 - 1025

Keywords

Animals, Antibodies, Antibody Formation, Cells, Cultured, Crystallization, Cytokines, Dendritic Cells, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Humans, Hydroxides, Macrophages, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Multivariate Analysis, Ovalbumin