A revisit of mucosal IgA immunity and oral tolerance

Academic Article


  • Induction of mucosal immunity by oral immunization with protein antigen alone is difficult: potent mucosal adjuvants, vectors, or other special delivery systems are required. Cholera toxin (CT) has been shown to be an effective adjuvant for the development of mucosal vaccines and, when given with vaccine, induces both mucosal and systemic immune responses via a Th2 cell-dependent pathway. However, and in addition to potential type-I hypersensitivity, a major concern for use of mucosal adjuvants such as CT is that this molecule is not suitable for use in humans because of its inherent toxicity. When we examined the potential toxicity of CT for the central nervous system, both CT and CT-B accumulated in the olfactory nerves/epithelium and olfactory bulbs of mice when given by the nasal route. The development of effective mucosal vaccines for the elderly is also an important issue; however, only limited information is available. When mucosal adjuvanticity of CT was evaluated in aged mice, an early immune dysregulation was evident in the mucosal immune system. The present review discusses these potential problems for effective mucosal vaccine development. Tolerance represents the most common and important response of the host to environmental antigens, including food and commensal bacterial components, for the maintenance of an appropriate immunological homeostasis. We have examined whether Peyer patches could play a more important role for the maintenance of oral tolerance. Using Peyer patch-null mice, we found that mice lacking this gut-associated lymphoid tissue retained their capability to produce secretory IgA antibodies but did not develop normal oral tolerance to protein antigens.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fujihashi K; Kato H; Van Ginkel FW; Koga T; Boyaka PN; Jackson RJ; Kato R; Hagiwara Y; Etani Y; Goma I
  • Start Page

  • 301
  • End Page

  • 308
  • Volume

  • 59
  • Issue

  • 5