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Brain Behav Immun. 2010 Mar;24(3):370-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.12.006. Epub 2009 Dec 24.

Food aversion: a critical balance between allergen-specific IgE levels and taste preference.

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1
Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo SP, Brazil.

Abstract

Animals sensitized to allergens change their feeding behavior and avoid drinking the otherwise preferred sweetened solutions containing the allergens. This phenomenon, known as food aversion, appears to be mediated by allergen-specific IgE antibodies. Here we investigated food aversion in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, which differ in their allergic responses to the allergen ovalbumin as well as in their preference for sweet taste. BALB/c mice present higher levels of IgE and a natural lower preference for sweet flavors when compared to C57BL/6 mice. Specifically, we studied a conflicting situation in which animals simultaneously experienced the aversive contact with the allergen and the attractive sweet taste of increasing concentrations of sucrose. We found that BALB/c mice were more prone to develop food aversion than C57BL/6 mice and that this aversive behavior could be abolished in both strains by increasing the palatability of the solution containing the allergen. In both strains food aversion was positively correlated with the levels of allergen-specific IgE antibodies and inversely correlated with their preference for sucrose sweetened solutions.

PMID:
20035860
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbi.2009.12.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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