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Mucosal immunity induced by orally administered transgenic plants

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.imbio.2008.02.002
  • Edible Vaccine
  • Mucosal Immunity
  • Transgenic Plants
  • Biology
  • Design


Abstract Oral immunization is an efficient means to induce protection at the portal entrance for many pathogens. Therefore, the design of efficient edible vaccines through transgenic plants represents a challenging alternative to the traditional injectable ones. We have previously reported the construction of transgenic potato plants expressing the genes coding for the immunogenic proteins of Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) and their immunogenicity in mice. All mice receiving transgenic plant extracts in incomplete Freund's adjuvant produced specific antibodies. Animals fed with transgenic leaves also showed a specific response against NDV. The aim of the present study was to continue the evaluation of the mucosal immune response. Adult Balb/c mice were fed with potato leaves for a month and on day 36 mucosal samples were collected. ELISAs performed on intestinal washes showed that transformed plants elicited the synthesis of NDV-specific IgG and IgA antibodies. In addition, anti-NDV IgA antibodies were detected in supernatants of cultured small intestine fragments of mice fed with the recombinant immunogens, suggesting the presence of NDV-specific IgA secreting plasma cells in the intestinal tissue. Moreover, we detected specific anti-NDV antibodies in intestinal fluids after oral immunization with F and HN transgenic plants. Also, indirect immunofluorescence on intestinal tissue was performed. The present results suggest that these immunogens, F and HN glycoproteins of NDV, when orally administered, would enhance the number of IgA + B cells, and the cytotoxic cellular immune response via CD8 + T cells, found in the gut lamina propria that is in accordance with our first findings.

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