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More MS news articles for April 2003

Oral tolerance induced by continuous feeding: enhanced up-regulation of transforming growth factor-beta/interleukin-10 and suppression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

J Autoimmun 2003 Mar;20(2):135-45
Faria AM, Maron R, Ficker SM, Slavin AJ, Spahn T, Weiner HL.
Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Oral administration of antigen leads to specific immune hyporesponsiveness termed as oral tolerance.

Different doses and feeding regimens have been demonstrated to induce different types of tolerance and degrees of immune suppression.

Herein, we compare distinct different regimens of feeding using equivalent final doses of antigen in order to investigate the role of frequency of antigen uptake in the induction of oral tolerance.

We demonstrate that continuous feeding of antigen in the drinking water, as compared to a single feeding or feeding once per day over several days enhances suppression to both Th1 and Th2 type responses in B6D2F1 and BALB/c mice.

Continuous feeding suppresses antibody responses in aged B6D2F1 mice, which are otherwise refractory to oral tolerance induction.

Continuous feeding of ovalbumin (OVA) in high or low doses, as compared to control or single daily feeding over several days, up-regulates interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) production in both OVA TCR transgenic and BALB/c mice.

In all regimens tested in wild type mice, low doses were more efficacious than high doses in inducing IL-10 and TGF-beta.

Serial feeding (multiple low dose daily gavages) using OVA or myelin basic protein (MBP), also led to up-regulation of TGF-beta and IL-10 production in OVA TCR and MBP TCR transgenic mice, as well as enhanced inhibition of MBP-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in (PLxSJL) F1 mice.

We did not find differences in the cytokine profile between serial (multiple low dose daily gavages) and continuous feeding regimens, suggesting that repetitive discrete delivery of oral antigen provides a sustained signal for the induction of oral tolerance.

Thus, using different regimens of feeding that resemble natural feeding with equivalent final doses of antigen, we found enhancement of oral tolerance utilizing regimens that resemble natural feeding.

Such feeding regimens may be advantageous in the application of oral tolerance for clinical purposes in the treatment of autoimmune and other inflammatory conditions.