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Immunology. 2001 Jun;103(2):188-98.

Short-term immunoglobulin A B-cell memory resides in intestinal lymphoid tissues but not in bone marrow of gnotobiotic pigs inoculated with Wa human rotavirus.

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Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA.


Immunological memory is important for protecting the host from reinfection. To investigate the development and sites of residence of intestinal memory B cells, and their role in protective immunity to reinfection with an enteric virus, we assessed the association between memory B cell and antibody-secreting cell (ASC) responses and protection using a gnotobiotic pig model for human rotavirus (HRV) infection and diarrhoea. The isotypes, quantities and tissue distribution of rotavirus-specific memory B cells and ASC were evaluated prechallenge (28 and 83 postinoculation days [PID]) and postchallenge (7 postchallenge days [PCD]), using enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay, in gnotobiotic pigs inoculated once with virulent or three times with attenuated HRV and challenged at PID 28 with the corresponding virulent HRV. Complete protection against HRV shedding and diarrhoea was associated with significantly higher numbers of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) memory B cells and ASC in the ileum of virulent HRV-inoculated pigs at challenge. In contrast, pigs inoculated with attenuated HRV had lower numbers of IgA and IgG memory B cells and ASC in intestinal lymphoid tissues, but higher numbers in the spleen. The bone marrow had the lowest mean numbers of IgA and IgG memory B cells and ASC prechallenge in both groups of HRV-inoculated pigs. Therefore, bone marrow was not a site for IgA and IgG rotavirus-specific antibody production or for memory B cells after inoculation with live rotavirus, from 28 PID up to at least 83 PID. The effect of in vitro antigen dose was examined and it was determined to play an important role in the development of ASC from memory B cells for the different tissues examined.

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