Innate profiles of cytokines implicated on oral tolerance correlate with low- or high-suppression of humoral response

Maria F. Silva, Alice O. Kamphorst, Elize A. Hayashi, Maria Bellio, Claudia R. Carvalho, Ana M.C. Faria, Kátia C.C. Sabino, Marsen G.P. Coelho, Alberto Nobrega, Daniel Tavares, Antonio C. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Oral tolerance (OT) is being studied with great interest because of its therapeutic potential in allergy and autoimmunity. In the present study, two mouse strains with extreme phenotypes of OT susceptibility (TS) or resistance (TR) to ovalbumin (OVA) were used to demonstrate whether the tr and ts genes, cumulated during 18 generations of bi-directional genetic selection, influence expression of immunobiological traits in naive or antigen-gavaged TR/TS mice. The difference in anti-OVA titres was 2048-fold between OVA-gavaged TS and TR mice. Tolerance susceptibility to OVA gavage in individuals from a (TS × TR)F2 population was 24% high-susceptibility, 62% low-susceptibility and 14% non-tolerant. Different antigens, unrelated to OVA, were tested by gavage and TS mice were generally susceptible while TR mice were resistant. The stability of TS and TR phenotypes was not affected by the use of strict protocols of intraperitoneal immunization or feeding over 30 consecutive days. The levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, interferon-γ and IL-10 cytokines evaluated in concanavalin A-stimulated spleen cells from naive mice and in OVA-stimulated spleen cells from OVA-gavaged mice were higher in TS mice. Interleukin-10 was up-regulated in OVA-gavaged TS mice and down-regulated in TR mice. In naive mice, the percentage of CD4+ CD25+ and CD4+ Foxp3+ spleen cells and IL-10 expression by CD4 + cells was significantly higher in TS mice. These results indicate that regulation of IL-10 expression could be an important factor contributing to the mechanisms controlling OT susceptibility, and that the OT responses of TR and TS individuals strongly correlate with their innate potential to secrete this cytokine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody responses
  • Cytokines
  • Mice
  • Oral tolerance
  • Regulatory T cells


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