Increased antigen specific T cell numbers in the absence of altered migration or division rates as a result of mucosal cholera toxin administration

Maria Kaparakis-Liaskos, Michelle Tate, Jason D Price, Martin J Pearse, Odilia LC Wijburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cholera toxin (CT) is a mucosal adjuvant capable of inducing strong immune responses to co-administered antigens following oral or intranasal immunization of mice. To date, the direct effect of CT on antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell migration and proliferation profiles in vivo is not well characterized. In this study, the effect of CT on the migration pattern and proliferative responses of adoptively transferred, CD4(+) TCR transgenic T cells in orally or intranasally vaccinated mice, was analyzed by flow cytometry. GFP-expressing or CFSE-labeled OT-II lymphocytes were adoptively transferred to naive C57BL/6 mice, and mice were subsequently vaccinated with OVA with or without CT via the oral or intranasal route. CT did not alter the migration pattern of antigen-specific T cells, regardless of the route of immunization, but increased the number of transgenic CD4(+) T cells in draining lymphoid tissue. This increase in the number of transgenic CD4(+) T cells was not due to cells undergoing more rounds of cellular division in vivo, suggesting that CT may exert an indirect adjuvant effect on CD4(+) T cells. The findings reported here suggest that CT functions as a mucosal adjuvant by increasing the number of antigen specific CD4(+) T cells independent of their migration pattern or kinetics of cellular division.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59934
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this