Intestinal immunization of mice with antigen conjugated to anti-MHC class II antibodies
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We have explored a new technique for immunization of the intestinal tract of mice, using protein antigens bound to antibodies with specificity for murine MHC class II molecules (MHC-II). Either of two protein antigens, hen avidin (AV) or hen egg lysozyme (HEL) were covalently conjugated to anti-MHC-II antibodies and the purified conjugates were given orally (p.o.) or by direct intraduodenal (i.d.) injection into the intestinal lumen of mice. A secondary immunization p.o. with the same conjugate or with the non-conjugated antigen in the presence of cholera toxin (CTX) resulted in production of both intestinal secretory IgA and serum IgA antibody by those mice. In addition, serum IgG antibodies were produced. Conjugates with appropriate MHC-II specificity targeted the antigen because they induced more IgA and IgG antibody than conjugates with irrelevant antibody specificity or antigen alone, and because they induced antibody in mice that were genetic low responders to antigen. The results indicate the feasibility of oral subunit type vaccines with antibody targeting technology.
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