Tissue distribution of mucosal antibody-producing cells specific for respiratory syncytial virus in severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) mice engrafted with human tonsils

Clin Exp Immunol. 1991 Sep;85(3):358-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1991.tb05732.x.


Groups of C.B-17 SCID mice were reconstituted intraperitoneally with human tonsillar mononuclear cells (hu-TMC) from children seropositive for antibody to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and subsequently challenged intraperitoneally with inactivated RSV or sham-immunized. The synthesis and the distribution characteristics of human antibody to RSV in various murine tissues were studied using an enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISPOT). No specific antibody was observed in sham-immunized animals. In contrast, mice engrafted with hu-TMC exhibited the appearance of specific human antibody secreting cells (hu-ASC) after i.p. immunization with inactivated RSV. RSV-specific hu-ASC were detected only in animals engrafted with cells from donors seropositive for antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus. Hu-TMC engrafted mice showed RSV-specific IgM and, in lower numbers, IgG hu-ASC in several tissues including the lungs. Numbers of RSV-specific IgA hu-ASC were low, however, and detected only in the lung. No RSV-specific hu-ASC were detected in the intestine. These data demonstrate for the first time that hu-TMC-SCID chimeras respond to immunization with viral antigen. Furthermore, the results suggest that hu-TMC engraft in lungs but not in the intestinal tissue.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / analysis
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mucous Membrane / cytology*
  • Palatine Tonsil / transplantation*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes