Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology / 1999 / Article

Mini-Review | Open Access

Volume 13 |Article ID 180648 |

Yaron Ilan, "Oral Tolerance: A New Tool for the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Disorders and Liver-Directed Gene Therapy", Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 13, Article ID 180648, 7 pages, 1999.

Oral Tolerance: A New Tool for the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Disorders and Liver-Directed Gene Therapy

Received02 Nov 1998
Accepted09 Nov 1998


Oral tolerance is a method of downregulating an immune response by feeding antigens. The use of oral tolerance toward adenoviruses and colitis-extracted proteins for long term gene therapy and alleviation of experimental colitis, and the mechanisms of tolerance induction are presented. Adenoviruses are efficient vectors in liver-directed gene therapy; however, the antiviral immune response precludes the ability to achieve long term gene expression and prohibits the ability to reinject the recombinant virus. Oral tolerance induction via feeding of viral-extracted proteins prevented the antiadenoviral humoral and cellular immune responses, thus enabling long term gene therapy using these viruses. Moreover, pre-existing immune response to the virus was overcome by tolerance induction, enabling prolonged gene expression in a presensitized host. Inflammatory bowel diseases are immune-mediated disorders where an imbalance between proinflammatory (T helper cell type 1) and anti-inflammatory (T helper cell type 2) cytokines are thought to play a role in the pathogenesis. In the experimental colitis model, the feeding of colitis-extracted proteins downregulated the anticolon immune response. Tolerance induction toward colitis-extracted proteins ameliorated colonic inflammation as shown by decreased diarrhea and reduction of colonic ulcerations, intestinal and peritoneal adhesions, wall thickness and edema. Histological parameters for colitis were markedly improved in tolerized animals. In both models, tolerized animals developed an increase in transforming growth factor-beta, interleukin-4 and interleukin-10, and a decrease in the mRNA of interferon-gamma lymphocytes and serum levels. Adoptive transfer of tolerized lymphocytes enabled the transfer of tolerance toward adenoviruses and colon-extracted proteins. Thus, oral tolerance induces suppressor lymphocytes that mediate immune response downregulation by induction of a shift from a proinflammatory T helper cell type 1 to an anti-inflammatory T helper cell type 2 immune response.

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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