Characterization of the circulating T-cell response after oral immunization of human volunteers with cholera toxin B subunit

Luiz R.R. Castello-Branco, George E. Griffin, Terence A. Poulton, Gordon Dougan, David J.M. Lewis

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The kinetics and phenotypic characterization of the in vitro cell proliferative response to the B subunit of cholera toxin were studied using peripheral blood mononuclear cells taken from human volunteers at frequent time points after primary and booster oral immunizations. The cells induced to proliferate by oral immunization secreted IL-3, and lipopolysaccharide depletion and depletion of B cells did not affect proliferation. Flow cytometry demonstrated that activated cells were CD3- and CD4-positive. These findings indicate primed T cells proliferating specifically to the B subunit. The kinetics of the response suggested trafficking in the peripheral circulation of primed T cells from the gut, with a peak stimulation index of between 7 and 93 after first immunization, and a precursor frequency of primed cells of between 1 in 25 400 and 1 in 72 390. There was close correlation between the serum antitoxin IgA antibody levels and observed proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • cholera toxin
  • immunoglobulin A
  • mucosal
  • T lymphocyte
  • vaccine

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