Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Feb;131(2):442-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.10.011. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Dietary medium-chain triglycerides promote oral allergic sensitization and orally induced anaphylaxis to peanut protein in mice.

Author information

  • 1Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences and Internal Medicine Department, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky 40536-0200, USA.



The prevalence of peanut allergies is increasing. Peanuts and many other allergen sources contain significant amounts of triglycerides, which affect absorption of antigens but have unknown effects on sensitization and anaphylaxis. We recently reported that dietary medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which bypass mesenteric lymph and directly enter portal blood, reduce intestinal antigen absorption into blood compared with long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which stimulate mesenteric lymph flow and are absorbed in chylomicrons through mesenteric lymph.


We sought to test how dietary MCTs affect food allergy.


C3H/HeJ mice were fed peanut butter protein in MCT, LCT (peanut oil), or LCT plus an inhibitor of chylomicron formation (Pluronic L81). Peanut-specific antibodies in plasma, responses of the mice to antigen challenges, and intestinal epithelial cytokine expression were subsequently measured.


MCT suppressed antigen absorption into blood but stimulated absorption into Peyer patches. A single gavage of peanut protein with MCT, as well as prolonged feeding in MCT-based diets, caused spontaneous allergic sensitization. MCT-sensitized mice experienced IgG-dependent anaphylaxis on systemic challenge and IgE-dependent anaphylaxis on oral challenge. MCT feeding stimulated jejunal-epithelial thymic stromal lymphopoietin, Il25, and Il33 expression compared with that seen after LCT feeding and promoted T(H)2 cytokine responses in splenocytes. Moreover, oral challenges of sensitized mice with antigen in MCT significantly aggravated anaphylaxis compared with challenges with the LCT. Importantly, the effects of MCTs could be mimicked by adding Pluronic L81 to LCTs, and in vitro assays indicated that chylomicrons prevent basophil activation.


Dietary MCTs promote allergic sensitization and anaphylaxis by affecting antigen absorption and availability and by stimulating T(H)2 responses.

Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk