Assessment of Th1/Th2 Bias of STING Agonists Coated on Microneedles for Possible Use in Skin Allergen Immunotherapy

Akhilesh Kumar Shakya, Chang Hyun Lee, Md Jasim Uddin, Harvinder Singh Gill

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12 Scopus citations


Microneedle-based skin allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) can benefit from adjuvants that can stimulate a stronger Th1 response against the allergen. We evaluated two stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonists, namely, cyclic diguanylate monophosphate (c-di-GMP) and cyclic diadenylate monophosphate (c-di-AMP), as skin adjuvants using coated microneedles (MNs). For comparison, the approved subcutaneous (SC) hypodermic injection containing alum was used. Ovalbumin (Ova) was used as a model allergen. Ova-specific IgG2a antibody in serum, which is a surrogate marker for Th1 type immune response was significantly higher when STING agonists were used with coated MNs as compared to SC injection of Ova+alum in mice. In contrast, IgG1 antibody, a surrogate marker for Th2 type immune response, was at comparable levels in the MN and SC groups. Restimulation of splenocytes with Ova produced higher levels of Th1 cytokines (IFN-? and IL-2) in the STING agonists MN groups as compared to the SC group. In conclusion, delivery of STING agonists into the skin using coated MNs activated the Th1 pathway better than SC- and MN-based delivery of alum. Thus, STING agonists could fulfill the role of adjuvants for skin AIT and even for infectious disease vaccines, where stimulation of the Th1 pathway is of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5437-5443
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 5 2018


  • STING adjuvants
  • allergy adjuvant
  • cutaneous-allergen immunotherapy
  • microneedles
  • skin immunotherapy


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