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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2007 Mar;14(3):226-33. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Intranasal coadministration of live lactococci producing interleukin-12 and a major cow's milk allergen inhibits allergic reaction in mice.

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Laboratoire INRA d'Immuno-Allergie Alimentaire, DSV/SPI-Bâtiment 136, CEA de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France.


The Th1/Th2 balance deregulation toward a Th2 immune response plays a central role in allergy. We previously demonstrated that administration of recombinant Lactococcus lactis strains expressing bovine beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), a major cow's milk allergen, partially prevents mice from sensitization. In the present study, we aimed to improve this preventive effect by coadministration of L. lactis BLG and a second recombinant L. lactis strain producing biologically active interleukin-12 (IL-12). This L. lactis strain producing IL-12 was previously used to enhance the Th1 immune response in a tumoral murine model (L. G. Bermúdez-Humarán et al., J. Immunol. 175:7297-7302, 2005). A comparison of the administration of either BLG alone or BLG in the presence of IL-12 was conducted. A BLG-specific primary Th1 immune response was observed only after intranasal coadministration of both L. lactis BLG and IL-12-producing L. lactis, as demonstrated by the induction of serum-specific immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) concomitant with gamma interferon secretion by splenocytes, confirming the adjuvanticity of IL-12-producing L. lactis. Immunized mice were further sensitized by intraperitoneal administration of purified BLG, and the allergic reaction was elicited by intranasal challenge with purified BLG. Mice pretreated with BLG in either the presence or the absence of IL-12 were rendered completely tolerant to further allergic sensitization and elicitation. Pretreatment with either L. lactis BLG or L. lactis BLG and IL-12-producing L. lactis induces specific anti-BLG IgG2a production in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Although specific serum IgE was not affected by these pretreatments, the levels of eosinophilia and IL-5 secretion in BAL fluid were significantly reduced after BLG challenge in the groups pretreated with L. lactis BLG and L. lactis BLG-IL-12-producing L. lactis, demonstrating a decreased allergic reaction. Our data demonstrate for the first time (i) the induction of a protective Th1 response by the association of L. lactis BLG and IL-12-producing L. lactis which inhibits the elicitation of the allergic reaction to BLG in mice and (ii) the efficiency of intranasal administration of BLG for the induction of tolerance.

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