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Food allergy: What do we learn from animal models?

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Author: Knippels, L.M.J. · Wijk, F. van · Penninks, A.H.
Institution: TNO Voeding
Source:Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 3, 4, 205-209
Identifier: 237776
doi: doi:10.1097/00130832-200406000-00012
Keywords: Health · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology · Allergenicity · Animal models · Food allergy · Therapy · Ara h 1 allergen · Ara h 2 allergen · Ara h 3 allergen · DNA vaccine · food allergen · fungal immunomodulatory protein · fungal protein · immunoglobulin E antibody · protein fip fve · recombinant antigen · recombinant cytokine · recombinant peanut allergen · unclassified drug · allergenicity · antigen specificity · article · bacterium · clinical research · desensitization · dog · dose response · drug activity · drug mechanism · drug research · drug screening · food allergy · genetic susceptibility · health hazard · hypothesis · immunological tolerance · immunopathogenesis · immunoprophylaxis · mouse strain · nonhuman · pathophysiology · prediction · priority journal · protein degradation · protein diet · protein intake · protein structure · publication · rat strain · review · screening test · sensitization · swine · Th1 cell · Th2 cell · Animals · Food Hypersensitivity · Humans · Immunotherapy · Interleukin-10 · Interleukin-4 · Models, Animal · T-Lymphocytes


Purpose of review This review summarizes selected articles on animal models of food allergy published in 2003. The research areas that are covered include mechanistic studies, the search for new therapies, as well as screening models for hazard identification of potential allergens. Recent findings Novel treatment options of both prevention and therapeutic strategies have been reported with promising results. The induction of de-sensitization to food proteins was achieved by exposure to a mixture of recombinant food allergens and T helper 1 (Th1)-skewing bacterial components. Furthermore, research in animal models has provided new insights into the role of protein structure, digestion, and gut permeability in sensitization and tolerance induction to food proteins. The Th2 hypothesis of food allergy was tested in mouse strains, linking genetic susceptibility to sensitization with differential Th1-Th2 responses. In this context, the role of the liver in development of food antigen-specific Th2 cells, and the importance of costimulatory molecules in Th2 skewing were demonstrated. Finally, rodent models to predict potential allergenicity of novel foods have been further developed using different routes of sensitization. Summary Currently, several animal models of food allergy are used, including mouse, rat, swine, and dog. Continuing research in these models may elucidate the immunological mechanisms that underlie the sensitization and challenge phase of food allergy and may result in improved therapeutic options. Furthermore, the development of animal models to predict relative allergenicity of novel foods remains an important topic.