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J Virol. 2002 Aug;76(16):8110-7.

Heterologous protection induced by the inner capsid proteins of rotavirus requires transcytosis of mucosal immunoglobulins.

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  • 1U892 INRA, Domaine de Vilvert, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France.


Protective immunization against rotavirus (RV) can be achieved with heterologous RV, i.e., virus isolated from another species, and with heterologous inner core VP2 and VP6 proteins assembled as virus-like particles (VLP). Although the antigenically conserved VP6 protein does not induce in vitro-neutralizing antibodies, it may, however, elicit immunoglobulins (Ig) involved in heterologous protection, as some IgA against VP6 prevent RV infection in a backpack mouse model. The protective role of Ig directed to the RV inner core proteins VP2 and VP6 was investigated in J-chain-deficient mice (J chain(-/-)), which have a defect in the polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR)-mediated transcytosis of IgA and IgM. J chain(-/-) mice and wild-type (WT) mice were intranasally vaccinated with bovine RV-derived VLP2/6 and then challenged with highly infectious murine ECw RV. Whereas WT mice were totally protected, immunized J chain(-/-) mice shed RV for several days. In addition, naïve J chain(-/-) mice exhibited a 2-day delay in clearing RV compared with WT mice. The immunized J chain(-/-) mice displayed unaltered VLP2/6-specific B-cell numbers in spleen and in mesenteric nodes and similar levels of serum anti-VLP2/6 Ig, confirming that the adaptive B-cell response is preserved in J chain(-/-) mice. These results indicate that J-chain-mediated transcytosis of Ig participates in the clearance of RV and that epithelial pIgR-mediated transport of Ig is involved in the heterologous protection induced by VLP2/6.

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