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Rotavirus 2/6 Virus-Like Particles Administered Intranasally in Mice, with or without the Mucosal Adjuvants Cholera Toxin and Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Toxin, Induce a Th1/Th2-Like Immune Response

  • Catherine Fromantin
  • Béatrice Jamot
  • Jean Cohen
  • Lionel Piroth
  • Pierre Pothier
  • Evelyne Kohli
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2001


We investigated the rotavirus-specific lymphocyte responses induced by intranasal immunization of adult BALB/c mice with rotavirus 2/6 virus-like particles (2/6-VLPs) of the bovine RF strain, by assessing the profile of cytokines produced after in vitro restimulation and serum and fecal antibody responses. The cytokines produced by splenic cells were first evaluated. Intranasal immunization with 50 μg of 2/6-VLPs induced a high serum antibody response, including immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2a, a weak fecal antibody response, and a mixed Th1/Th2-like profile of cytokines characterized by gamma interferon and interleukin 10 (IL-10) production and very low levels of IL-2, IL-4, and IL-5. Intranasal immunization with 10 μg of 2/6-VLPs coadministered with the mucosal adjuvants cholera toxin and Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (LT) considerably enhanced the Th1/Th2-like response; notably, significant levels of IL-2, IL-4, and IL-5 were observed. Since rotavirus is an enteric pathogen, we next investigated the production of IL-2 and IL-5, as being representative of Th1 and Th2 responses, by Peyer's patch and mesenteric lymph node cells from mice immunized intranasally with 2/6-VLPs and LT. The results were compared to those obtained from splenic and cervical lymph node cells. We found that both cytokines were produced by cells from each of these lymphoid tissues. These results confirm the Th1/Th2-like response observed at the systemic level and show, on the assumption that T cells are the primary cells producing the cytokines after in vitro restimulation, that rotavirus-specific T lymphocytes are present in the intestine after intranasal immunization with 2/6-VLPs and LT.

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