Background Food allergy is a common disease without effective treatment. Since strict elimination of food allergens may be difficult, strategies for effective intervention are urgently needed.
Objective The aim was to investigate the prophylactic use of orally administrated FIP-fve, an immunomodulatory protein isolated from the edible mushroom Flammulina velutipes, in a murine model of food allergy.
Methods BALB/c mice were immunized twice intraperitoneally with ovalbumin (OVA), at an interval of 2 weeks. Before and during each period of immunization, FIP-fve (200 μg per mouse) or phosphate-buffered saline was given orally every other day with a total of five doses. Then OVA-specific antibodies and cytokine profiles were determined. Subsequently, the mice were orally challenged with OVA. Symptoms of anaphylaxis, levels of plasma histamine, and histology of intestines were examined.
Results Mice receiving oral FIP-fve treatment during sensitization to OVA had an impaired OVA-specific IgE response with a Th1-predominant cytokine profile. These mice were protected from systemic anaphylaxis-like symptoms induced by subsequent oral challenge with OVA.
Conclusion Oral administration of FIP-fve has a Th1-skewing effect on the development of the allergen-specific immune response, and may serve the purpose of immunoprophylaxis for food allergy and other allergic diseases.