Increased Antigen Specific T Cell Numbers in the Absence of Altered Migration or Division Rates as a Result of Mucosal Cholera Toxin Administration Academic Article uri icon


  • 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 naïve 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.

publication date

  • 2013

has subject area