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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1996 Feb 13;778:64-71.

The role of Th1 and Th2 cells for mucosal IgA responses.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294, USA.


We have used cytokine-knockout mice to help determine the precise requirements for CD4+ Th cell regulation of IgA responses. In these studies, we have used two different oral delivery systems to induce mucosal and systemic antibody responses to the vaccine TT. In normal mice, oral administration of TT with CT as adjuvant induces Th2 cells and cytokines, which give rise to mucosal IgA and serum IgG1, IgA, and IgE responses. On the other hand, oral immunization with rSalmonella expressing Tox C results in Th1-type responses as well as Th2 cell-derived IL-10 and macrophage-derived IL-6, which correlate with mucosal IgA and serum IgG2a antibody responses. Two major conclusions can be drawn from our studies with these two regimens in normal, IFN-gamma-/-, and IL-4-/- mice. First, oral administration of rSalmonella, which elicits classical Th1-type responses also induces significant mucosal IgA responses when given to mice with defective Th1- (IFN-gamma-/-) or Th2- (IL-4-/-) cytokine pathways. Interestingly, we detect Th2-type cells producing IL-10 and macrophage-secreting IL-6 in both normal and cytokine-deficient mice, and we postulate that these two cytokines are of most importance for murine IgA responses. Second, oral administration of TT plus CT as adjuvant induces classical Th2-type responses in both normal and IFN-gamma-/- mice. Further, lack of IL-4 results in failure to induce mucosal IgA responses. Thus, the IL-4 pathway is necessary for the CT adjuvant effect for mucosal IgA responses after oral immunization with a protein vaccine.

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