Gastric mucosal alpha(4)beta(7)-integrin-positive CD4 T lymphocytes and immune protection against helicobacter infection in mice

Gastroenterology. 2000 Jul;119(1):109-18. doi: 10.1053/gast.2000.8548.


Background & aims: The integrin alpha(4)beta(7) mediates homing of effector/memory lymphocytes to the intestine and the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. This study examined the ability of alpha(4)beta(7)(hi) CD4(+) T lymphocytes to home to the stomach and their role in immunization-mediated protection against Helicobacter felis infection.

Methods: Gastric lamina propria and circulating mononucleated cells of naive, infected, and immunized Swiss Webster mice were isolated, and alpha(4)beta(7)-integrin expression was quantified by flow cytometry on CD4(+) T lymphocytes. Anti-alpha(4)beta(7)-integrin antibody was used to block alpha(4)beta(7) function in vivo.

Results: In naive mice, alpha(4)beta(7)(hi) CD4(+) T cells were enriched approximately 10-fold in the gastric mucosa compared with peripheral blood (P<0.0001). Chronic H. felis infection did not alter these proportions, but oral immunization with H. felis sonicate plus cholera toxin (CT) or with CT alone markedly increased gastric alpha(4)beta(7)(hi) CD4(+) T cells compared with naive and infected controls (P = 0.0008 and P = 0.002 for H. felis sonicate and CT, respectively). Anti-alpha(4)beta(7)-integrin antibody blocked the protection induced by oral immunization with H. felis sonicate and CT.

Conclusions: The integrin alpha(4)beta(7) participates in the homing of CD4(+) T lymphocytes to the stomach and in the protection of the gastric mucosa against H. felis infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Helicobacter / immunology
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter Infections / prevention & control*
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Immunization
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / physiology


  • Integrins
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • integrin alpha4beta7