Suppression of the intestinal immune response to cholera toxin by specific serum antibody

N. F. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The possibility that preexisting specific serum antibody could suppress a defined mucosal immune response to a topically applied antigen was studied in rats. Hyperimmune serum antibody induced by parenteral immunization of rats with cholera toxoid markedly suppressed the mucosal immune response to enterically applied cholera toxin. Such antibody was far more suppressive than antibody induced by primary parenteral immunization, apparently due to its greater avidity. Transfusion of small amounts (25 to 100 μl) of hyperimmune serum suppressed the primary mucosal antitoxin response, the development of specific memory in the mucosal immune system, and, somewhat less effectively, the secondary mucosal antitoxin response. Suppression was due largely to a direct effect of serum antibody upon the interaction of absorbed enteric antigen with lymphoid tissue in Peyer's patches and, possibly, mesenteric lymph nodes; interference with antigen absorption played little or no role in the observed suppressive effect of primary parenteral immunization on the mucosal immune response to cholera toxin. However, they support the notions that repeated parenteral immunization can evoke avid serum antibody without necessarily stimulating mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue and that such antibody can markedly suppress primary and secondary phases of the local immune response to mucosally applied antigen. Thus, a mechanism is demonstrated by which repeated parenteral immunization may adversely affect efforts to initiate or sustain protective mucosal immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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