Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology vol:152 issue:1-2 pages:101-8
Maltose binding protein (MBP) is often fused to a relevant protein to improve its yield and facilitate its purification, but MBP can also enhance the immunogenicity of the fused proteins. Recent data suggest that MBP may potentiate antigen-presenting functions in immunized animals by providing intrinsic maturation stimuli to dendritic cells through TLR4. The aim of this study was to examine if an MBP-specific immune response can be elicited by oral administration of MBP. Therefore, in a first experiment the MBP specific immune response was analyzed after oral immunization with MBP or MBP+CT to piglets and both the systemic and mucosal immune responses were examined Although no high systemic response was observed in the MBP-group, a local mucosal IgM MBP-specific response in the jejunal Peyer's patches was observed. In the second experiment MBPFedF was orally administered to piglets. A significant systemic response against MBP and a weak response against FedF were found after oral administration of MBPFedF+CT. Also the presence of MBP-specific IgA ASC in the lamina propria indicates that a local intestinal immune response against MBP was induced. Our data suggests that MBP can cross the epithelial barrier reaching the gut-associated lymphoid tissue after oral administration to pigs, which implicates that MBP could act as a carrier and delivery system for fused proteins to target the vaccine antigens to intestinal immune cells.