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Clin Exp Allergy. 2004 Sep;34(9):1422-8.

Mixed antibody and T cell responses to peanut and the peanut allergens Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3 and Ara h 6 in an oral sensitization model.

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  • 1Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Immunotoxicology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Peanut allergy is known for its severity and persistence through life. Several peanut proteins have been identified as allergenic and are indicated as Ara h 1-7. Very little is known about the mechanisms that underlie sensitization to peanut proteins.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the present study was to reveal the immune responses that are induced against peanut and the peanut allergens Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3 and Ara h 6 during sensitization, including the very early responses.

METHODS:

Humoral and T cell responses against peanut and the peanut allergens were examined in an early and later stage of sensitization in an established murine model of peanut anaphylaxis. Therefore C3H/HeJ mice were orally exposed to two different doses of peanut extract plus cholera toxin.

RESULTS:

Oral sensitization to peanut was characterized by an antigen-induced mixed cytokine response in the spleen (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IFN-gamma), which could already be observed 7 days after the onset of exposure. Additionally, polyisotypic humoral responses (IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a) against peanut were found in the serum. Moreover, we demonstrated that these T helper (Th)1/Th2 cytokine and antibody responses were also directed specifically against the major peanut allergens Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3 and Ara h 6.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study implicates that both Th1 and Th2 phenomena are involved in the development of peanut allergy in the C3H/HeJ murine model. Furthermore, we show that the present oral model is suitable to examine immune responses to food allergens during different stages of sensitization upon treatment with a whole food extract.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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