Active colitis exacerbates immune response to internalized food antigens in mice

Cueto Sola, M., Bailon, E., Utrilla, P., Rodriguez-Ruiz, J., Garrido-Mesa, N., Zarzuelo, A., Xaus, J., Galvez, J. and Comalada, M. (2013) Active colitis exacerbates immune response to internalized food antigens in mice. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 162(3), pp. 214-224. ISSN (print) 1018-2438


Background: Previous studies have indicated that colitis increases intestinal permeability to food antigens. This condition also generates an immunoreactive milieu in the gut, which may exacerbate or counteract allergy reactions. This, along with the fact that both colitis and allergy are being codiagnosed more frequently, means the scientific interest on the immune relation between these pathologies is increasing. We evaluated the immune response to an internalized food antigen that was initiated during a concomitant active intestinal inflammatory response. Methods: An ovalbumin (OVA)-induced immune response was analyzed in healthy mice and in mice suffering from colitis induced by the administration of dinitrofluorobenzene/dinitrosulfonic acid (DNFB/DNS) at the moment of OVA challenge. The OVA-induced clinical score and allergy response both in plasma and in splenocyte cultures from these animals were compared. Results: Although no differences were observed in the allergy clinical score, the concomitant active colitis led to an increase in the immune response to OVA antigen, as shown by increased spleen size and OVA-induced splenocyte proliferation, exacerbated expression of total and OVA-specific IgG1 levels, increased colonic IL-4 expression and OVA-induced IL-4 and IL-5 cytokine expression in spleen cells. Conclusions: Our results indicate that animals with active colitis undergo an exacerbated immune response to an internalized antigen. This finding could be relevant for the allergy management of patients presenting simultaneously with chronic colitis.

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