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J Toxicol Sci



An investigation and assessment of the muscle damage and inflammation at injection site of aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines in guinea pigs.



Aluminum salt adjuvants (Als) have been the most widely used adjuvants in vaccines and known to be effective in intramuscular inoculation. However, in rare cases, some Al containing vaccines caused serious adverse events such as chronic pain at the site of the injection. The Als cause mild tissue damage at the inoculation site, allowing the antigen to be locally retained at the inoculation site and thus potentiate innate immunity. This is required to elicit effectiveness of vaccination. However, there is concern that chronic muscle damage might potentially lead to serious adverse events, such as autoimmune disease and movement disorders. In this study, muscle damage caused by several Al containing vaccines were examined in guinea pigs. Mild and moderate inflammation were observed following Al containing split influenza virus vaccine, formalin-inactivated diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus and Salk polio vaccine. While massive inflammation and muscle damage were observed in Al-containing human papillomavirus vaccine-inoculated animals. However, the severities of damage were not associated with their Al contents. Masson's trichrome staining and immunostaining revealed that injured muscle at the inoculated site recovered within one month of vaccination, whereas inflammatory nodules remained. Flow cytometric analyses of the infiltrating cells revealed that the number of CD45 lymphocytes and potential granulocytes were increased following vaccination. The number of infiltrated cells seemed to be associated with severity of muscle damages. These observations revealed that Al containing vaccine-induced muscle damage is reparable, and severity of transient muscle damages seemed to be determined by type of antigen or types of Al salts rather than Al content.