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Clin Exp Immunol. 1981 Mar;43(3):574-82.

Hypersensitivity in the small intestinal mucosa. V. Induction of cell-mediated immunity to a dietary antigen.


Feeding of a protein antigen to adult mice results in reduced humoral and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses when that antigen is subsequently presented, and also causes activation of suppressor cells in the gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT). We have attempted to abrogate this tolerance to fed antigen by pretreating mice with 100 mg/kg cyclophosphamide before oral immunization and challenge with ovalbumin. Cyclophosphamide-pretreated mice did not develop serum haemagglutinating antibodies, nor systemic CMI (as assessed by skin testing) after ovalbumin feeding. However, evidence that CMI had been induced in the GALT was provided by the significant inhibition of migration and mesenteric lymph node cells from cyclophosphamide-pretreated animals, but not from other control groups. in the presence of ovalbumin. Our previous work on CMI reactions in the small intestine has shown that the cell production rate in the crypts of Lieberkuhn and the intraepithelial lymphocyte count are reliable although indirect measures of mucosal CMI. Cyclophosphamide-pretreated, ovalbumin-immunized animals, which had been fed 0 . 1 mg ovalbumin daily for 10 days before killing, had increased crypt cell mitoses, and increased intraepithelial lymphocyte counts, indicating the presence of mucosal CMI response to ovalbumin. Mechanisms whereby cyclophosphamide pretreatment leads to abrogation of tolerance and induction of mucosal CMI are discussed.

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