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Keywords:

  • adoptive transfer;
  • dendritic cell;
  • food allergy;
  • IgE

Summary

Dendritic cells (DCs) are important in the regulation of immune responses and it has been proposed that these cells play an important role in asthma; however, their role in food allergy is still largely unknown. Our aim was to study specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses in naïve recipients following adoptive transfer of myeloid DCs from allergic and control mice. The phenotypic features and lymphokine production of DCs were also investigated. CD11c+/hi B220 DCs isolated from spleen and Peyer's patches (PP) of cow's milk (CM) allergic and control mice were transferred intravenously (i.v.) into naïve syngeneic recipients, and IgE- and IgG-specific responses were evaluated. Experiments were also carried out to determine the levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-4 produced by splenocytes from naïve recipients following the adoptive transfer, and CD40 ligand (CD40L)-mediated IL-10 production by DCs from allergic and control mice. DCs isolated from spleen and PP of allergic mice, but not control groups, induced CM-specific IgG and IgE antibody production in naïve recipients in the absence of previous immunization, but did not modify the T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) balance. Furthermore, although no difference was observed in the expression of canonical DC surface markers, PP DCs from allergic mice produced less IL-10 than DCs from controls. We interpret these data as showing that DCs play a pivotal role in allergen-specific IgE responses and that a Th2-skewed response may not be involved in the early phase of allergic responses. The identification of the mechanisms underlying these events may help to design novel strategies of therapeutic intervention in food allergy.