Protein deprivation causes reversible impariment of mucosal immune response to cholera toxoid/toxin in rat gut

Nature. 1979 Sep 6;281(5726):64-5. doi: 10.1038/281064a0.


Scretory antibodies may be the major defence against mucosal infections, especially those due to viruses and non-invasive pathogens such as Vibrio cholerae and toxinogenic Escherichia coli. The high incidence of mucosal infections in malnourished protein-deficient children may result from defective antibody production, but evidence for this is conflicting. We report here that protein deficiency markedly impairs the mucosal immune reponse to cholera toxiod/toxin (CT), a protein antigen, in rats and that this impairment is rapidly reversed by refeeding.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitoxins / immunology
  • Cholera Toxin / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / metabolism
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Protein Deficiency / immunology*
  • Rats
  • Time Factors


  • Antitoxins
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Cholera Toxin