Adjuvant effects of cholera toxin B subunit on immune response to recombinant thyrotropin receptor in mice

Ji Lao Fan, Johnny W. Peterson, Bellur S. Prabhakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We had previously shown that BALB/c mice immunized with the extracellular domain of human thyrotropin receptor (ETSHR) developed moderate hyperthyroxinemia. The antibody responses in these mice were predominantly of the IgG1 subclass. Since cholera toxin B subunit (CT-B) has direct effects on the thyroid, and is known to activate B lymphocytes and cause enhanced IgG1 production, we tested the ability of CT-B to modulate the antibody response to ETSHR. CT-B is unique in that it not only elicits a strong immune response to itself, but more importantly, when given with other antigens acts as a potent adjuvant. In the present study, BALB/c mice given ETSHR with CFA or CT-B via ip route showed higher titers of antibodies to ETSHR when compared to mice similarly immunized with ETSHR alone, or with IFA. Antibodies in ETSHR+CT-B immunized mice were mostly of the IgG1 subclass and reacted predominantly with ETSHR peptides 1 (aa 22-41), 21 (aa 322-341), and 23 (352- 371). In contrast, animals immunized with ETSHR+CFA showed IgG1, IgG2a and IgG2b responses and reacted with peptides 1 and 21. Furthermore, mice immunized with ETSHR along with CT-B showed significantly higher levels of thyrotropin (TSH) binding inhibitory immunoglobulins (TBII) compared to those that did not receive CT-B. None of the mice immunized with a control antigen showed antibody response to ETSHR. These results suggested that CT-B could enhance and modulate immune response to ETSHR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Cholera toxin
  • Graves' disease
  • Thyrotropin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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