The Janus face of immune stimulation by nanomedicines: Examples for the good and the bad

Julianna Lisziewicz, Janos Szebeni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)


Nanomedicines are pharmaceutical agents consisting of ∼20-400 nm size particles that overlap with the size of viruses and, hence, are recognized by the immune system. The resulting stimulation of the innate and antigen-specific immune responses can be either beneficial or harmful. This review focuses on two examples of the Janus faced interaction between the nanomedicines and the immune system; the beneficial stimulation of epidermal Langerhans cells and expansion of HIV-specific memory T cells by a therapeutic AIDS vaccine (DermaVir), and the harmful triggering of the complement (C) system leading to hypersensitivity reactions, called C activation related pseudoallergy (CARPA). In addition to the illustrated survey of the molecular-cellular interactions underlying these phenomena, this review provides an update on the clinical development of DermaVir and the state of CARPA prevention - anti-CARPA therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Nanomedicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2010


  • Anaphylaxis
  • Dendritic cells
  • First-line HIV therapy
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Immune toxicity
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infusion reactions
  • Nanoparticles
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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