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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 May 30;55(11):4576-83. Epub 2007 May 4.

Intestinal translocation capabilities of wheat allergens using the Caco-2 cell line.

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INRA, Research Unit on Biopolymères, Interactions et Assemblages (BIA), and INRA, Université de Nantes, UMR 1280, F44316 Nantes, France.


Because intestinal absorption of food protein can trigger an allergic reaction, the effect of wheat proteins on intestinal epithelial cell permeability was evaluated and the abilities of these proteins in native or pepsin-hydrolyzed state to cross the epithelial cell monolayer were compared. Enterocytic monolayers were established by culturing Caco-2 cells, a model of enterocytes, on permeable supports that separate the apical and basal compartments. Proteins were added into the apical compartment, and the transepithelial resistance (TER) was measured; proteins that crossed the cell monolayer were detected in the basal medium by ELISA. Wheat proteins did not alter the cell monolayer. TER and Caco-2 cell viability were conserved, and the passage of dextran was prevented. Native and pepsin-hydrolyzed forms of omega5-gliadin and lipid transfer proteins were detected in the basal medium. The results suggest that these two major allergens in food allergy to wheat were able to cross the cell monolayer by the transcellular route.

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