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Initiating mechanisms of food allergy: Oral tolerance versus allergic sensitization

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Author: Wijk, F. van · Knippels, L.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 1, 61, 8-20
Identifier: 239788
doi: doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2006.11.003
Keywords: Nutrition · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology · Dendritic cells · Food allergy · Oral tolerance · Regulatory T cells · allergen · B7 antigen · CD28 antigen · CD40 antigen · CD40 ligand · CD86 antigen · cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 · food antigen · gamma interferon · immunoglobulin A antibody · immunoglobulin E · interleukin 10 · neutralizing antibody · ovalbumin · peanut antigen · probiotic agent · transforming growth factor beta · tumor necrosis factor alpha · adaptive immunity · allergenicity · antibody production · antigen presenting cell · article · B lymphocyte · body surface · bystander effect · CD4+ CD25+ T lymphocyte · cell activation · cell interaction · cell maturation · cell subpopulation · cellular immunity · commensal · dendritic cell · food allergy · gastrointestinal mucosa · human · immune response · immune system · immunological tolerance · immunotherapy · innate immunity · intestine lymphatic tissue · intestine wall · lamina propria · lymphocyte · lymphoid tissue · mesentery lymph node · microenvironment · nonhuman · peanut allergy · Peyer patch · priority journal · protein analysis · protein intake · protein localization · regulatory T lymphocyte · signal transduction · T lymphocyte · T lymphocyte activation · Th3 cell · Antigens, CD · Food Hypersensitivity · Glycoproteins · Humans · Immune Tolerance · Immunization · Intestinal Mucosa · Lymph Nodes · Peyer's Patches · Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell


Immediately after birth the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract, which represents the greatest body surface area exposed to the outside environment, is confronted with a large variety of foreign antigens. The immune system of the intestine now has to meet the task of discriminating between pathogens and harmless antigens, such as food proteins and commensal bacteria, and to respond accordingly. This important job is fulfilled by cells of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, the largest immunologic organ in the body. Despite the large extent of food antigen exposure, only a small percentage of individuals experience adverse immunologic reactions to food. This is due to the fact that the normal immune response to dietary proteins is associated with the induction of oral tolerance, which refers to a state of active inhibition of immune responses to an antigen by means of prior exposure to that antigen via the oral route. Abrogation of oral tolerance or failure to induce oral tolerance may result in the development of food hypersensitivity. In the present review, factors that may play a role in the outcome of oral tolerance versus sensitization to food proteins are discussed. © 2006 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.