Immunomodulatory Effects of Heated Ovomucoid-Depleted Egg White in a BALB/c Mouse Model of Egg Allergy
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Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a promising therapeutic approach for treating food allergy. The treatment with heated ovomucoid-depleted egg white (HOMEW) in egg-allergic patients is noteworthy; however, OIT protocols are still experimental, and a better knowledge of the underlying mechanism is required. The objective of this work was to investigate the immunomodulatory effects of HOMEW and characterize the underlying mechanism in a BALB/c mouse model of egg allergy. Mice were sensitized with EW and treated with HOMEW. Post treatment, mice were challenged with EW and euthanized for collecting blood and spleen. Markers of allergic clinical outcomes were measured as histamine concentration, serum antibody activity, and cytokine production from cultured splenocytes. Digestibility of HOMEW was assessed mimicking physiological conditions in vitro. The HOMEW demonstrated high digestibility. The treatment induced a marked increase of the Th1/Th2 ratio in the high-dose treatment group. Treated mice had significantly less histamine, EW-specific IgE, and IL-4 and more IFN-γ and IL-10. This study confirms the mechanisms involved in successful tolerance induction with OIT using HOMEW and allows understanding of the vital role of surrogate allergy markers involved in immune modulation.
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