Effects of low doses of allergen administration and/or probiotics supplementation on cow’s milk protein allergy in a mouse model.
ABSTRACT Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common food allergies among infants and children of developed countries. Accumulating evidence indicates that probiotic supplementation and oral tolerance (OT) induction have food allergy reducing properties. However, there is no report regarding the effects of small doses of allergen and/or multi-strains probiotics (VSL#3) supplementation on CMA. In this study, we examined the effects of OT induction by low doses of allergen and/or VSL#3 supplementation on CMA in a mouse model. Mice were intraperitoneally sensitized and then orally challenged with β-lactoglobulin (BLG), one of the major milk proteins. Allergic responses, including hypersensitivity scores, sera immunoglobulins, fecal IgA and cytokines from spleen lysates, were monitored. Compared to BLG-sensitized control mice, mice supplemented with VSL#3 and/or administered with low doses of allergen showed significantly lowered hypersensitivity scores and reduced BLG-specific serum IgE levels. Allergy reducing effects of VSL#3 supplementation was associated with significantly higher levels of fecal IgA while suppression of both Th-1 and Th-2 responses were observed in OT-induced mice. However, mice that received both low doses of allergen and VSL#3 exhibited allergen-specific protection at the systemic level and the potential to protect non-specific challenges at the mucosal level through increased total intestinal IgA.