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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2004 Oct;135(2):108-16. Epub 2004 Sep 2.

Food allergens are protected from degradation during CD23-mediated transepithelial transport.

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  • 1INSERM EMI0212, Faculté Necker, Paris, France.



CD23 (FcepsilonRII) is expressed by intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) following allergic stimulation and increases the uptake of IgE/allergen complexes. The aim of this study was to further analyze the role of CD23 in the intraepithelial processing of food allergens during transepithelial transport.


Balb-C mice were sensitized intraperitoneally with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or beta-lactoglobulin (beta-LG) in the presence of pertussis toxin. In control and sensitized mice, 3H-HRP, intact HRP, or 14C-beta-LG fluxes were measured across jejunal segments mounted in Ussing chambers, in the presence or absence of mucosal anti-CD23 antibodies. HPLC analysis of serosal buffer was performed to detect HRP- or beta-LG-derived radiolabelled metabolites generated during transepithelial transport.


In HRP-sensitized mice, 3H-HRP fluxes and intact HRP fluxes (3,836 +/- 476 and 290 +/- 86 ng/h x cm2, respectively) were significantly increased compared to control mice (1,677 +/- 297 ng/h x cm2, p < 0.01, and 106 +/- 23 ng/h x cm2, p < 0.02, respectively). HPLC analysis indicated the presence of intact HRP in the serosal compartment already 10 min after addition of HRP to the mucosal compartment, a result not observed in the control mice. In the presence of anti-CD23 antibodies, intact HRP fluxes were significantly decreased (131 +/- 27 ng/h x cm2) compared to control values in sensitized mice (290 +/- 86 ng/h x cm2, p < 0.02), suggesting that CD23 is involved is this 'protected' transport pathway. A similar protection during intestinal transport was observed for beta-LG in beta-LG sensitized mice.


These results confirm that CD23 is involved in the rapid transepithelial transport of intact allergens in sensitized animals, and indicate that CD23 opens a 'protected' transport pathway in IECs.

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