Cholera toxin as a mucosal adjuvant: Effects of H-2 major histocompatibility complex and lps genes

Academic Article


  • In previous studies we found that cholera toxin (CT) can act as a mucosal adjuvant; i.e., it can stimulate an intestinal secretory immunoglobulin A (S- IgA) response to an unrelated protein antigen when both are fed together to mice. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the mucosal adjuvanticity of CT is restricted by either H-2 major histocompatibility complex or lps genes by using congenic inbred strains that differ at only a single genetic locus. Groups of five mice each were fed saline, CT (10 μg), keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) (5 mg), or both CT and KLH on four different days, and samples of intestinal secretions and plasma were obtained 1 week after the last feeding. In the mice fed both CT and KLH, the intestinal S-IgA anti-KLH response was higher in H-2b congenic strains than in H-2(k) congenic strains, and in addition there was a highly significant positive correlation between the intestinal S-IgA anti-KLH and S-IgA anti-CT responses in the intestinal secretions of individual mice. Similarly, in the lps congenic strains, mice of the endotoxin-responsive strain that were fed both CT and KLH had substantially higher S-IgA and plasma IgG responses to KLH than did mice of the endotoxin-unresponsive strain. The effect of CT on the induction of oral tolerance to KLH in the H-2 congenic strains was also examined. In contrast to the results above, the abrogation of oral tolerance to KLH by CT occurred in all strains regardless of H-2 haplotype. Similarly, the adjuvant effect of CT on plasma IgG anti-KLH responses after both were given together intraperitoneally was not restricted by H-2. I conclude that the mucosal adjuvanticity of CT is influenced by both the H-2 and lps genetic loci and that it appears to depend on a vigorous mucosal immune response to CT itself.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Elson CO
  • Start Page

  • 2874
  • End Page

  • 2879
  • Volume

  • 60
  • Issue

  • 7