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J Exp Med. 2008 Apr 14;205(4):897-913. doi: 10.1084/jem.20071046. Epub 2008 Mar 31.

IL-9- and mast cell-mediated intestinal permeability predisposes to oral antigen hypersensitivity.

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  • 1Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA.


Previous mouse and clinical studies demonstrate a link between Th2 intestinal inflammation and induction of the effector phase of food allergy. However, the mechanism by which sensitization and mast cell responses occurs is largely unknown. We demonstrate that interleukin (IL)-9 has an important role in this process. IL-9-deficient mice fail to develop experimental oral antigen-induced intestinal anaphylaxis, and intestinal IL-9 overexpression induces an intestinal anaphylaxis phenotype (intestinal mastocytosis, intestinal permeability, and intravascular leakage). In addition, intestinal IL-9 overexpression predisposes to oral antigen sensitization, which requires mast cells and increased intestinal permeability. These observations demonstrate a central role for IL-9 and mast cells in experimental intestinal permeability in oral antigen sensitization and suggest that IL-9-mediated mast cell responses have an important role in food allergy.

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