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Infect Immun. 1996 May; 64(5): 1516–1525.
PMCID: PMC173956

Oral immunization of interleukin-4 (IL-4) knockout mice with a recombinant Salmonella strain or cholera toxin reveals that CD4+ Th2 cells producing IL-6 and IL-10 are associated with mucosal immunoglobulin A responses.


Mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) responses are often associated with Th2-type cells and derived cytokines, and interleukin-4 (IL-4) knockout (IL-4-/-) mice with impaired Th2 cells respond poorly to oral antigens. However, we have noted that IL-4-/- mice have normal mucosal IgA levels, which led us to query whether different oral delivery systems could elicit mucosal immunity. Two oral regimens were used: (i) a live recombinant Salmonella strain which expresses fragment C (ToxC) of tetanus toxin, and (ii) soluble tetanus toxoid (TT) with cholera toxin (CT) as an adjuvant. Oral immunization of IL-4-/- mice with recombinant Salmonella vaccine expressing ToxC induced brisk mucosal IgA and serum IgG (mainly IgG2a) anti-TT antibody responses. TT-specific CD4+ T cells from spleen or Peyer's patches produced gamma interferon, indicative of Th1 responses; however, IL-6 and IL-10 were also seen. Oral immunization of IL-4-/- mice with TT and CT induced weak mucosal IgA to TT; however, brisk IgA anti-CT-B responses and CT-B-specific CD4+ T cells producing IL-6 and IL-10 were also noted. These results show that although IL-4-dependent antibody responses are impaired, mucosal IgA responses are induced in IL-4-/- mice. These result suggest that certain cytokines, i.e., IL-6 and IL-10 from Th2-type cells, play an important compensatory role in the induction and regulation of mucosal IgA responses.

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Selected References

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