Modulation of murine Peyer's patch immunoglobulin A response by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli

J. A. Wess, T. M. Petro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) may have profound effects on the capacity of gut-associated lymphoid tissue to mount a secretory immune response because of the potential ability of heat-stable toxin or heat-labile toxin to modulate the immune response. To examine the effects of ETEC or its purified enterotoxins upon the humoral immune response of murine small intestinal Peyer's patch lymphocytes, BDF1 (lipopolysaccharide-responder) and C3H/HeJ (lipopolysaccharide-nonresponder) mice were orally primed with sheep erythrocytes (SRBC) four times during a 2-week period to initiate differentiation of Peyer's patch B lymphocytes to cells committed to anti-SRBC immunoglobulin A (IgA) production. Halfway through the oral priming regimen the mice were gastrically intubated with 108 ETEC, 108 non-ETEC, or saline. ETEC persisted in the small intestine for at least 7 days at a level of 103 to 104 bacteria per mouse. Seven days after the last oral dosing with SRBC, Peyer's patch lymphocytes were removed from infected or saline-treated mice and incubated in vitro with SRBC. The ETEC infection had a small effect on the anti-SRBC IgM plaque-forming cell response of SRBC-primed mice but inhibited significantly the anti-SRBC IgA plaque-forming cell response in both BDF1 and C3H/HeJ mice as compared with uninfected controls. The non-ETEC, an isolate from normal mouse small intestine, had no significant effect on either IgM or IgA anti-SRBC plaque-forming cell response. Purified heat-labile toxin, not heat-stable toxin, alone in a dose-dependent manner significantly inhibited both the IgA and IgM plaque-forming cell response of Peyer's patch lymphocytes from primed mice. These data suggest that ETEC can inhibit the development of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue IgA immune response through the immunopharmacological effect of an enterotoxin, the heat-labile toxin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1085-1089
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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