The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of immune status, age and genetic background on the induction of oral tolerance to Actinomyces viscosus. Suppression of delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response and antigen-specific serum antibody levels could be induced in DBA/2 mice intragastrically and systemically immunized with A. viscocus, suggesting the induction of oral tolerance. In contrast, this immune suppression could be abrogated if the animals had been systemically immunized prior to the induction of oral tolerance with the same bacterium. Long-term systemic immunization prior to intragastric immunization with A. viscocus suppressed DTH response only. Cell transfer of this group of animals also suppressed DTH response in the donors, indicating the action of suppressor cells for inhibition of DTH response. Furthermore, oral tolerance to A. viscocus failed to occur in mice aged at 3 days and 1, 2, 4, 6 and 36 weeks old. Mice bearing H-2(d) haplotype were the most susceptible to oral tolerization, followed by H-2(b) and H-2(k). Therefore, the results of the presence study suggest that the induction of oral tolerance to A. viscosus in mice may be dependence on the immune status and genetic background but not age.
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