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Gastroenterology. 2000 Apr;118(4):749-59.

Induction and maintenance of immune effector cells in the gastric tissue of mice orally immunized to Helicobacter pylori requires salivary glands.

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Department of Clinical Bioregulatory Science, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.



Helicobactor pylori mostly colonizes the gastric mucus that contains salivary antibodies. We studied the role of saliva in the induction and maintenance of gastric immunity conferred by oral vaccination against H. pylori.


C57BL/6 mice underwent a sialoadenectomy before and after intragastric immunization using whole-cell sonicates of H. pylori and cholera toxin as an adjuvant. At 1 and 6 months after oral inoculation, we assessed the density of the H. pylori colonizing the stomach, specific antibodies in gastric secretion and sera, and the constituents of cellular infiltrates in the tissue.


A sialoadenectomy before, but not after, immunization abrogated protection by the vaccination at 1 month after inoculation. Protected mice had more neutrophils, plasma cells, and lymphocytes, but fewer eosinophils, in the gastric tissue than nonprotected mice. Protected mice had a greater increase of immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 specific to H. pylori than IgG2a in sera. At 6 months after inoculation, oral immunization was less effective in mice who had a sialoadenectomy than in control immunized mice. The antibody titers in both gastric secretion and in sera did not correlate with the density of bacteria colonizing the stomach.


It is suggested that, in intragastric immunization against H. pylori, saliva is necessary for both the induction and maintenance of optimal immunity in the stomach. Effective immunity was associated with an increased number of neutrophils and lymphocytes in gastric tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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