Immune response of the female rat genital tract after oral and local immunization with keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugated to the cholera toxin B subunit

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The immune response of the female rat genital tract was evaluated with Lewis rats given primary and secondary immunizations with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) alone or coupled to the cholera toxin (CT) B subunit (CTB) by the oral or intravaginal-uterine route or a combination of routes. CT (2 to 5 μg) was administered as an adjuvant with the KLH-CTB conjugate. While a significant mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) response was induced by KLH, there were no significant differences among the immunized groups in the levels of IgA antibodies in salivary gland, gut, vaginal, and uterine secretions, with the exception that rats immunized only orally with the KLH-CTB conjugate lacked a detectable vaginal response. Levels of IgA antibodies to CT, however, were significantly increased in genital tract secretions of rats immunized locally versus orally with the KLH-CTB conjugate. Antibody activity of the IgG isotype against both KLH and CT was significantly elevated in genital tract secretions of rats immunized with KLH-CTB by the oral or intravaginal-uterine route and given genital tract boosters, in comparison with the results for the other groups. IgM antibody titers were generally negligible in the different secretions. An enzyme-linked spot-forming assay revealed IgA and IgG antibody-secreting cells in salivary gland and uterine tissues. A highly significant correlation between the numbers of antibody- secreting cells and antibody titers existed for uterine IgG but not IgA responses to KLH among the different groups of rats. In conclusion, a vigorous local immune response was induced after immunization of the female rat reproductive tract alone or in combination with peroral challenge with the KLH-CTB conjugate.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Menge AC; Michalek SM; Russell MW; Mestecky J
  • Start Page

  • 2162
  • End Page

  • 2171
  • Volume

  • 61
  • Issue

  • 5