Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Ameliorates Murine Lupus

Chiara Cantarelli, Chiara Guglielmo, Susan Hartzell, Fadi El Salem, Sofia Andrighetto, Victor P. Gazivoda, Enrico Fiaccadori, Gaetano La Manna, Gianluigi Zaza, Jeremy Leventhal, Ioannis Tassiulas, Paolo Cravedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Current guidelines encourage administering pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar-13 to patients with lupus, but whether such vaccinations affect disease severity is unclear. To address this issue, we treated 3-month-old MRL-lpr mice, that spontaneously develop a lupus-like syndrome, with Prevnar-13 or vehicle control. After 3 months, we quantified circulating anti-Pneumococcal polysaccharide capsule (PPS) antibodies and signs of disease severity, including albuminuria, renal histology and skin severity score. We also compared immunophenotypes and function of T and B cells from treated and untreated animals. Prevnar-13 elicited the formation of anti-pneumococcal IgM and IgG. Prevnar-13 treated animals showed reduced albuminuria, renal histological lesions, and milder dermatitis compared to vehicle-treated controls. Mitigated disease severity was associated with reduced and increased T follicular helper cells (TFH) and T follicular regulatory cells (TFR), respectively, in Prevnar-treated animals. T cells from Prevnar-13 vaccinated mice showed differential cytokine production after aCD3/aCD28 stimulation, with significantly decreased IL-17 and IL-4, and increased IL-10 production compared to non-vaccinated mice. In conclusion, pneumococcal vaccination elicits anti-pneumococcal antibody response and ameliorates disease severity in MRL-lpr mice, which associates with fewer TFH and increased TFR. Together, the data support use of Prevnar vaccination in individuals with SLE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2695
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2019


  • T
  • T
  • lupus
  • prevnar
  • vaccination


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