The immunoregulatory effects of oral pretreatment of BDF1 mice with cationized bovine serum albumin (cBSA) and native bovine serum albumin (nBSA) have been compared. Oral administration of nBSA suppressed the antibody response to both forms of the antigen. In contrast, oral pretreatment with cBSA greatly enhanced the anti-BSA response in animals subsequently challenged i.p. with either the cationized or native form of the molecule. The enhancement observed with cBSA pretreatment was more pronounced than the suppression observed with the same amount and number of feedings of nBSA. As little as a single oral dose of 10 mg of cBSA produced a significant increase in antibody concentration. Cell transfer of spleen cells into irradiated syngeneic recipients demonstrated that both T cells and B cells were involved in the generation of the response, with a greater degree of enhancement provided by cBSA-pretreated T cells. These data extend our previous findings and demonstrate that administration of cBSA by a normally "tolerogenic" route results in enhancement rather than suppression of the immune response.

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