M-cells (microfold cells) are thought to be a primary conduit of intestinal antigen trafficking. Using an established neutralizing anti-RANKL (Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand) antibody treatment to transiently deplete M-cells in vivo, we sought to determine whether intestinal M-cells were required for the effective induction of protective immunity following oral vaccination with ΔiglB (a defined live attenuated Francisella novicida mutant). M-cell depleted, ΔiglB-vaccinated mice exhibited increased (but not significant) morbidity and mortality following a subsequent homotypic or heterotypic pulmonary F. tularensis challenge. No significant differences in splenic IFN-ã, IL-2, or IL-17 or serum antibody (IgG1, IgG2a, IgA) production were observed compared to non-depleted, ΔiglB-vaccinated animals suggesting complementary mechanisms for ΔiglB entry. Thus, we examined other possible routes of gastrointestinal antigen sampling following oral vaccination and found that ΔiglB co-localized to villus goblet cells and enterocytes. These results provide insight into the role of M-cells and complementary pathways in intestinal antigen trafficking that may be involved in the generation of optimal immunity following oral vaccination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)