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HMGB1 released from intestinal epithelia damaged by cholera toxin adjuvant contributes to activation of mucosal dendritic cells and induction of intestinal cytotoxic T lymphocytes and IgA

Wakabayashi, A;Shimizu, M;Shinya, E;Takahashi, H;

Cholera toxin (CT) is a potent mucosal adjuvant and oral administration of ovalbumin (OVA) antigens plus CT induces OVA-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and IgA production in intestinal mucosa. However, the mechanisms of induction of these immune responses remain unknown. Intestinal OVA-specific CD8+ CTLs were not induced by oral administration of the CT active (CTA) or CT binding (CTB) subunit as an adjuvant and CD11c+ DCs were involved in cross-priming of intestinal CTLs. CD8+CD103+CD11c+CD11b-DCs and DCIR2+CD103+CD11c+CD11b+ DCs were distributed in the intestinal lamina propria and mesenteric lymph nodes, both DC subsets expressed DEC-205, and the expression of co-stimulatory molecules such as CD80 and CD86 was enhanced in both DC subsets after oral administration of intact CT but not the CTA or CTB subunit. Intestinal DCs activated by the oral administration of OVA plus CT cross-presented OVA antigens and DCs that captured OVA antigen through DEC-205, but not DCIR2, could cross-present antigen. We found that oral administration of intact CT, but not the CTA or CTB subunit, enhanced cell death, cytoplasmic expression of high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) in epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)+CD45- intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), and HMGB1 levels in fecal extracts. HMGB1 dose-dependently enhanced the expression of CD80 and CD86 on DCs in vitro, and intravenous or oral administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, significantly suppressed activation of mucosal DCs and induction of intestinal OVA-specific CTLs and IgA by oral CT administration. These results showed that oral administration of intact CT triggers epithelial cell death in the gut and the release of HMGB1 from damaged IECs, and that the released HMGB1 may mediate activation of mucosal DCs and induction of CTLs and IgA in the intestine.