Background Immunoglobulin (Ig) E plays a key role in the pathogenesis of atopic diseases, such as asthma, atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis. Oral administration of pulverized Konjac glucomannan (PKGM) has recently been demonstrated to prevent both plasma IgE elevation and developing dermatitis in NC/Nga mice, a model of atopic dermatitis.
Objective To clarify the direct effect of PKGM on the increase of plasma IgE, we employed the system of BALB/c mouse that increases IgE level without developing dermatitis in response to continuous injection of the extract of syngeneic keratinocytes, PAM 212 cells (PAM extract).
Methods Three weeks after the start of feeding with either control or PKGM diet, mice were injected subcutaneously with PAM extract bi-weekly for 10 weeks. The levels of plasma Igs were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay every 2 weeks after the injection. The levels of ɛ germline transcription and the amounts of mRNA for IL-4, IFN-γ, GATA-3 and T bet gene in the spleen were evaluated by real-time RT-PCR at the end of the experiment.
Results On the one hand, PKGM prevented the increase of plasma IgE and IgG (IgG1, IgG2b) induced by PAM extract, and on the other hand, it enhanced the levels of plasma IgG3. However, it did not affect the level of plasma IgM. PKGM also reduced the levels of plasma ovalbumin (OVA)-specific IgE in OVA-sensitized mice. Moreover, PKGM attenuated the induction of ɛ germline transcription and expression levels of mRNA for IL-4, IFN-γ and GATA-3 in the spleen of PAM extract-injected mice. PKGM also attenuated the induction of ɛ germline transcription and mRNA for IFN-γ and T bet in the spleen of phosphate-buffered saline-injected control mice.
Conclusions These results suggested that oral administration of PKGM prevents the elevation of plasma IgE by suppressing IgE class switching in B cells and/or the commitment development of naive lymphocytes to both T-helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2.