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Front Immunol. 2017 Sep 29;8:1230. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01230. eCollection 2017.

Improved Efficacy of Oral Immunotherapy Using Non-Digestible Oligosaccharides in a Murine Cow's Milk Allergy Model: A Potential Role for Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells.

Author information

1
Faculty of Science, Department of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.
2
Immunology Platform, Nutricia Research, Utrecht, Netherlands.
3
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Immunotoxicology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a promising therapeutic approach to treat food allergic patients. However, there are some concerns regarding its safety and long-term efficacy. The use of non-digestible oligosaccharides might improve OIT efficacy since they are known to directly modulate intestinal epithelial and immune cells in addition to acting as prebiotics.

AIM:

To investigate whether a diet supplemented with plant-derived fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) supports the efficacy of OIT in a murine cow's milk allergy model and to elucidate the potential mechanisms involved.

METHODS:

After oral sensitization to the cow's milk protein whey, female C3H/HeOuJ mice were fed either a control diet or a diet supplemented with FOS (1% w/w) and received OIT (10 mg whey) 5 days a week for 3 weeks by gavage. Intradermal (i.d.) and intragastric (i.g.) challenges were performed to measure acute allergic symptoms and mast cell degranulation. Blood and organs were collected to measure antibody levels and T cell and dendritic cell populations. Spleen-derived T cell fractions (whole spleen- and CD25-depleted) were transferred to naïve recipient mice to confirm the involvement of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in allergy protection induced by OIT + FOS.

RESULTS:

OIT + FOS decreased acute allergic symptoms and mast cell degranulation upon challenge and prevented the challenge-induced increase in whey-specific IgE as observed in sensitized mice. Early induction of Tregs in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) of OIT + FOS mice coincided with reduced T cell responsiveness in splenocyte cultures. CD25 depletion in OIT + FOS-derived splenocyte suspensions prior to transfer abolished protection against signs of anaphylaxis in recipients. OIT + FOS increased serum galectin-9 levels. No differences in short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels in the cecum were observed between the treatment groups. Concisely, FOS supplementation significantly improved OIT in the acute allergic skin response, %Foxp3+ Tregs and %LAP+ Th3 cells in MLN, and serum galectin-9 levels.

CONCLUSION:

FOS supplementation improved the efficacy of OIT in cow's milk allergic mice. Increased levels of Tregs in the MLN and abolished protection against signs of anaphylaxis upon transfer of CD25-depleted cell fractions, suggest a role for Foxp3+ Tregs in the protective effect of OIT + FOS.

KEYWORDS:

butyric acid; cow’s milk allergy; desensitization; galectin-9; non-digestible oligosaccharides; oral immunotherapy; regulatory T cell

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