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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #225014

Title: Generating a Natural Porcine Model of Gastrointestinal Food Allergy to Peanut

item Reece, Joshua
item Urban, Joseph
item Dawson, Harry

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2007
Publication Date: 8/15/2007
Citation: Reece, J.J., Kohn, K., Ets, H., Urban Jr, J.F., Dawson, H.D. 2007. Generating a Natural Porcine Model of Gastrointestinal Food Allergy to Peanut. BARC Poster Day.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an extremely potent allergen and is one of the most life-threatening food sensitivities known. Peanuts cause the majority of food-related anaphylaxis in children, adolescents, and adults. There is no good animal model currently in place to study peanut allergies. Experiments performed in rodents using peanut antigen have been acceptable for proof of principal; however, large animal models are more physiologically relevant for comparison to human allergic responses. Minimal preliminary work has been done in dogs, sheep, and pigs; however, these models have yet to be fully characterized. In our current study, we use sensitized pigs to low and high doses of commercial grade peanut, intraperitoneally using only alum as an adjuvant. Subsequent oral challenge using over-the-counter, unsalted and dry-roasted peanuts resulted in a robust allergic response in the low dose animals and induction of tolerance in the high dose pigs. Allergic responses were characterized by increased transcription of IL-4, IgE, and secretory IgA in the mesenteric lymph nodes and small intestines of low dose animals. Additionally, increased transcription of IL-10, IL-21, and CTLA4 was observed, suggesting that regulatory pathways were triggered as well. Pigs receiving the high dose of peanut sensitization showed tolerogenic immune responses similar to those of control animals. This work is the first to define pigs as a viable immunological model of mucosal food allergies.