Salivary, nasal, genital, and systemic antibody responses in monkeys immunized intranasally with a bacterial protein antigen and the cholera toxin B subunit

Academic Article


  • Previous attempts to induce mucosal antibodies in rhesus monkeys by enteric immunization have resulted in only modest and short-lived responses, dominated by immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies in the plasma. In this study, two groups of rhesus monkeys were immunized intranasally three times at 2- week intervals with a bacterial protein antigen (AgI/II) either chemically coupled to or mixed with the B subunit of cholera toxin (CT), a known potent mucosal immunogen and carrier for other immunogens. Cells secreting antibodies, predominantly of the IgA isotype, to AgI/II and to CT were detected in the peripheral blood 1 week after each immunization, indicating the dissemination of IgA-secreting precursor cells through the mucosal immune system. IgG and, to a lesser extent, IgA antibodies to both proteins were induced in the plasma commencing after the second immunization. Plasma IgE concentrations and IgE antibody levels were nut consistently raised during the immunization period. IgA antibodies against AgI/II and CT were found in saliva and also in fecal extracts, and both IgA and IgG antibodies were found in nasal and vaginal washes. Nasal IgG but not IgA antibodies showed a significant positive correlation with plasma IgG antibody levels, suggesting that they were largely derived by transudation from the circulation. Analysis of the molecular form of vaginal IgA indicated that both secretory and monomeric forms of IgA were present in various proportions. Furthermore, neither IgG nor IgA antibodies in vaginal washes were correlated with plasma antibody responses, suggesting the contribution of locally synthesized antibodies of both isotypes. Comparison of the responses between the two groups of animals showed only sporadic significant differences, indicating that intranasal immunization with AgI/II either coupled to or mixed with the B subunit of CT was equally effective at inducing generalized IgA antibody responses in the mucosal immune system and predominantly IgG antibodies in the plasma.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Russell MW; Moldoveanu Z; White PL; Sibert GJ; Mestecky J; Michalek SM
  • Start Page

  • 1272
  • End Page

  • 1283
  • Volume

  • 64
  • Issue

  • 4