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Keywords:

  • β-Lactoglobulin;
  • Food allergy;
  • Mouse model;
  • Omega 3 fatty acids;
  • Western-style diet

Scope

This study investigated the effects of supplementing different ratios of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (O6H = 10:1, O3O6 = 4:1, and O3H = 1:4) to western-style diets on cow β-lactoglobulin (BLG) induced allergic reactions in Balb/c mice.

Methods and results

Three-week-old mice were randomly assigned to three diet groups (n = 20/group). At 9 wk of age, half of the mice from each dietary treatment (n = 10) were intraperitoneally (i.p.) sensitized with three weekly doses of BLG and alum while the remaining half from each group was sham sensitized (controls). One week after the final sensitization, all mice were orally challenged with BLG. Elevated BLG-specific serum Igs were observed in all sensitized and challenged mice. IFN-γ, MCP-1, and IL-12p40 concentrations from lymphocytes of mesenteric lymph nodes were highest in O3H mice, compared to O3O6 and O6H mice. O6H mice had the highest IL-4 concentrations from splenic lymphocytes and a significantly lower rectal temperature after the challenge in comparison to O3O6 and O3H mice.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that the ω-3 PUFA rich diets alleviated the severity of allergic reactions, and may modulate immune response toward T helper cell (Th)1-favoured immune response while the ω-6 PUFA rich diet exhibited no allergy alleviation with a stronger Th2 polarized immune response.