Intragastric and intraperitoneal administration of Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis induces systemic and mucosal antibody responses in mice

Life Sci. 1999;64(21):1897-912. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(99)00136-8.


The spore-forming soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis produces parasporal inclusion bodies composed by delta-endotoxins also known as Cry proteins, whose resistance to proteolysis, stability in highly alkaline pH and innocuity to vertebrates make them an interesting candidate to carrier of relevant epitopes in vaccines. The purpose of this study was to determine the mucosal and systemic immunogenicity in mice of Cry1Ac protoxin from B. thuringiensis HD73. Crystalline and soluble forms of the protoxin were administered by intraperitoneal or intragastric route and anti-Cry1Ac antibodies of the major isotypes were determined in serum and intestinal fluids. The two forms of Cry1Ac protoxin administered by intraperitoneal route induced a high systemic antibody response, however, only soluble Cry1Ac induced a mucosal response via intragastric. Serum antibody levels were higher than those induced by cholera toxin. Systemic immune responses were attained with doses of soluble Cry1Ac ranging from 0.1 to 100 microg by both routes, and the maximal effect was obtained with the highest doses. High anti-Cry1Ac IgG antibody levels were detected in the large and small intestine fluids from mice receiving the antigen via i.p. These data indicate that Cry1Ac is a potent systemic and mucosal immunogen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / immunology*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Toxins / immunology*
  • Cholera Toxin / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Endotoxins / administration & dosage
  • Endotoxins / immunology*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Immunization
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Endotoxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis
  • Cholera Toxin