Administration of cholera toxin/toxoid by either intraduodenal or parenteral routes increases the frequency of antigen-sensitive B cells in Peyer's patches (PP) and in distant lymphoid tissues greater than 50-fold. The special feature of mucosal priming with toxin is its unique effectiveness at generating secondary B cells, whose progeny express IgA exclusively, and such cells appear in highest frequency in PP and in appreciable numbers in spleen. Thus, this deliberate intraduodenal immunization seems to mimic the natural priming process induced by enteric bacterial colonization, which we have postulated to account for the high frequencies of IgA-committed cells specific for bacterial determinants in the PP of conventionally reared mice. furthermore, as a result of intraduodenal immunization, antigen-specific memory B cells are disseminated to sites distant form that of antigen application, including the lymphoid follicles associated with the respiratory mucosa. Direct antigenic stimulation of cells in the PP therefore results in effective cross-priming among mucosal and systemic sites through division, differentiation, and disemination of antigen-sensitive secondary B cells.

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