Coadministration of retinoic acid (RA) and polyinosinic acid:polycytidylic acid (PIC) has been shown to cooperatively enhance the anti-tetanus toxoid (anti-TT) vaccine response in adult mice. Germinal center formation in the spleen is critical for a normal antibody response. Recent studies have identified Stimulated by Retinoic Acid-6 (Stra6) as the cell membrane receptor for retinol-binding protein (RBP) in many organs, including spleen. The objectives of the present studies were to test whether orally administered vitamin A (VA) itself, either alone or combined with RA, and/or treatment with PIC regulates Stra6 gene expression in mouse spleen and, concomitantly, antibody production. Eight-week-old C57BL/6 mice were immunized with TT. In an initial kinetic study, oral VA (6 mg/kg) increased anti-TT IgM and IgG production as well as splenic Stra6 mRNA expression. In treatment studies that were analyzed 9 d postimmunization, retinoids including VA, RA, VA and RA combined, and PIC significantly increased plasma anti-TT IgM and IgG (P < 0.05) and splenic Stra6 mRNA (P < 0.05). Treatments that included PIC elevated plasma anti-TT IgM and IgG concentrations >20-fold (P < 0.01). Immunohistochemistry of STRA6 protein in mouse spleen confirmed its increase after immunization and retinoid treatment. In conclusion, retinoid treatments that included VA, RA, VA and RA combined, and the combination of retinoid and PIC stimulated the expression of Stra6 in spleen, which potentially could increase the local uptake of retinol. Concomitantly, these treatments increased the systemic antigen-specific antibody response. The ability of oral retinoids to stimulate systemic immunity has implications for public health and therapeutic use of VA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics