Induction of protective and specific antibodies against cocaine by intranasal immunisation using a glyceride adjuvant

Kolbrun Hrafnkelsdottir, Jon Valgeirsson, Sveinbjorn Gizurarson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this study was to investigate an intranasal cocaine vaccine containing the mucosal adjuvant macrogol-6-glycerol capylocaprate (RhinoVax). Cocaine-KLH conjugate was prepared and administered in two formulations. Ten mice were immunised intranasally using RhinoVax as adjuvant and ten subcutaneously using aluminium hydroxide as an adjuvant. A negative control group (n=10) received unconjugated KLH with RhinoVax intranasally. Specific cocaine antibodies in serum were measured following primary and booster immunisation. Relative antibody responses in serum indicated that the immunisation was successful. Animals were then challenged with cocaine either intranasally or intraperitoneally with subsequent measurement of drug distribution into the serum, brain and olfactory bulb. The cocaine-immunised groups revealed significantly lower cocaine levels in the brain compared to the negative control group. The inhibition of cocaine distribution to the brain in the intranasal immunised group was comparable to that of the subcutaneous immunised group. This was unexpected because the cocaine specific antibody levels in serum were fivefold lower in the intranasal immunised group. However, the presence of mucosal cocaine specific antibodies after intranasal immunisation could play an important role in hindering direct access of cocaine into the brain via the olfactory bulb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1042
Number of pages5
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Other keywords

  • Addiction
  • Cocaine
  • Immunisation
  • Intranasal
  • Rhino vax
  • Vaccine


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