Production of IgE antibody and allergic sensitization of intestinal and peripheral tissues after oral immunization with protein Ag and cholera toxin.
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Cholera toxin (CTX) is a potent oral adjuvant for the induction of mucosal IgA Ab responses protein Ags. We examined the Ab responses and allergic sensitization of several strains of mice to protein Ags, administered orally with CTX. The mice made strong IgA and IgG1 serum Ab responses, but little IgG2a Ab to Ags such as hen egg lysozyme (HEL) and OVA. However, when given a subsequent i.p. challenge with Ag alone, the same mice had immediate hypersensitivity reactions that included respiratory distress and death. Within 10 min of i.p. challenge, immunized mice had high levels of plasma histamine and extensive degranulation of mast cells in target tissues. These mice had detectable serum IgE Ab. Ag administered orally with the B subunit (CTB) of CTX did not sensitize mice. Intestinal tissues taken from these mice had Ag-specific ion-secretory responses in vitro, typical of intestinal anaphylaxis. Ag given s.c. without adjuvant could also sensitize for systemic and intestinal anaphylaxis. Sensitization with HEL given s.c. was dose dependent and correlated with a critical amount of HEL in the circulation. HEL was detected in the circulation after oral immunization, but CTX did not increase the uptake of HEL. Thus, oral immunization with a protein Ag in the presence of CTX can sensitize an animal for systemic and intestinal anaphylaxis. These results suggest a cautious approach to the use of CTX as an adjuvant in oral vaccines, and provide a new model to study immediate hypersensitivity reactions to intestinal Ag.
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