Current vaccine research is now heavily focused on improving the efficacy and potency of sub-unit peptide vaccines. Many successful vaccines developed in past decades have been able to sufficiently prime proper immune responses without the use of any specific adjuvant immune mediators. Due to the intrinsic nature of more immune-evading pathogens and neoplasms, novel “tricks” are needed to elucidate a proper and protective immune response. It is important to note that without cytokines, proper execution of the immune response would be completely inhibited. They are responsible for the recruitment and chemo-tactic movement of most innate cellular effectors such as polymorphonucleocytes (PMN), macrophages, and dendritic cells. Most importantly, the entire Th1/Th2 balance is completely dependent on the unique nature and signature of differential cytokine production. These expression signatures are crucially needed to tip the scale either way, depending on which immune reaction is appropriate. This review will specifically explain the use of Th1 inducing cytokines as an adjuvant in current vaccine development. This rapidly developing field aims to produce more powerful and effective Th1 responses in the hopes of improving the treatment of cancer, intracellular infectious agents, and autoimmune diseases.
Keywords: Vaccines, sub-unit vaccines, peptides, cytokines, adjuvants, Th1/Th2 responses