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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Murine model of food allergy after epicutaneous sensitization: Role of mucosal mast cell protease-1.

Objective. Studies of the pathological mechanisms of food allergy have been impeded by the lack of relevant animal models. The purpose of this study was to develop a physiological model of food allergy that was not dependent on immunostimulatory adjuvants. Material andmethods. Balb/c mice were epicutaneously sensitized four times at varying intervals over a 22-day period, and challenged orally from day 40, 6 times every 1-3 days with either saline or ovalbumin. Results. After sensitization (day 35) but before the oral challenges, the ovalbumin-sensitized groups showed increased specific IgE and IgG1 production when compared with the sham-sensitized groups. Mucosal mast cell protease-1 ( MMCP-1) was undetectable in serum before the intragastric challenge. MMCP-1 concentrations were increased after the first ovalbumin dose, solely in the ovalbumin-sensitized and -challenged group. After the challenge period, the mean serum MMCP-1 concentration increased from an undetectable level in controls to an over 44-fold level in the ovalbumin-sensitized and -challenged mice. In this group, MMCP-1-positive cells were present in the small intestine and expressions of IFN-gamma and CXCL-9 mRNA were decreased in the ileum, suggesting an impaired Th-1-type response. Within one hour of the last ovalbumin challenge, 5 out of 6 mice developed diarrhea in the ovalbumin-sensitized and -challenged group, but there was no diarrhea in the other groups. Conclusions. A murine model of food allergy based on sensitization via epicutaneous exposure to allergen without immunostimulatory adjuvants was developed. Effective production of MMCP-1 together with specific IgE and IgG1 suggests a breakdown in oral tolerance to the allergen. Intragastric challenges were accompanied by mast cell-dependent immunopathological changes and diarrhea.[1]


  1. Murine model of food allergy after epicutaneous sensitization: Role of mucosal mast cell protease-1. Vaali, K., Puumalainen, T.J., Lehto, M., Wolff, H., Rita, H., Alenius, H., Palosuo, T. Scand. J. Gastroenterol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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