The efficacy of edible vaccines produced in potato tubers was examined in mice. Transgenic plants were developed by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. The antigen selected was the non-toxic B subunit of the Escherichia coli enterotoxin (recLT-B). A synthetic gene coding for recLT-B was made and optimised for expression in potato tubers and accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum. Introduction of this gene under control of the tuber-specific patatin promoter in potato plants resulted in the production of functional, i.e. Gm1-binding, recLT-B pentamers in tubers. Selected tubers containing about 13 g of recLT-B per gram fresh weight were used for immunisation. Subcutaneous immunisation with an extract of recLT-B tubers yielded high antibody titres in serum that were similar to those obtained with bacterial recLT-B. The efficacy of oral administration of recLT-B tubers was determined by measuring mucosal and systemic immune responses in naive and primed mice. Animals were primed by subcutaneous injection of an extract of recLT-B tuber plus adjuvant. Naive and primed mice were fed 5 g of tubers (~65 g of recLT-B) or were intubated intragastrically with 0.4 ml of tuber extract (~2 g of recLT-B). In naive mice, feeding recLT-B tubers or intubation of tuber extract did not induce detectable anti-LT antibody titres. In primed animals, however, oral immunisation resulted in significant anti-LT IgA antibody responses in serum and faeces. Intragastric intubation of tuber extract revealed higher responses than feeding of tubers. These results indicate clearly that functional recLT-B can be produced in potato tubers, that this recombinant protein is immunogenic and that oral administration thereof elicits both systemic and local IgA responses in parentally primed, but not naive, animals.
Lauterslager, T. G. M., Florack, D. E. A., van der Wal, T. J., Molthoff, J. W., Langeveld, J. P. M., Bosch, D., Boersma, W. J. A., & Hilgers, L. A. T. (2001). Oral immunisation of naive and primed animals with transgenic potato tubers expressing LT-B. Vaccine, 19, 2749-2755. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0264-410X(00)00513-2