Editor: Julian Marchesi
Germ-free status and altered caecal subdominant microbiota are associated with a high susceptibility to cow's milk allergy in mice
Article first published online: 19 JAN 2011
© 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 76, Issue 1, pages 133–144, April 2011
How to Cite
Rodriguez, B., Prioult, G., Bibiloni, R., Nicolis, I., Mercenier, A., Butel, M.-J. and Waligora-Dupriet, A.-J. (2011), Germ-free status and altered caecal subdominant microbiota are associated with a high susceptibility to cow's milk allergy in mice. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 76: 133–144. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.01035.x
Present address: Rodrigo Bibiloni, AgResearch Ltd., Food, Metabolism and Microbiology Section, Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 19 JAN 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 11 JAN 2011 09:02AM EST
- Received 23 October 2010; revised 10 December 2010; accepted 13 December 2010., Final version published online 19 January 2011.
- Gut microbiota;
- murine model;
- germ-free mouse;
- cow's milk allergy;
- allergic symptoms
Studies suggesting that the development of atopy is linked to gut microbiota composition are inconclusive on whether dysbiosis precedes or arises from allergic symptoms. Using a mouse model of cow's milk allergy, we aimed at investigating the link between the intestinal microbiota, allergic sensitization, and the severity of symptoms. Germ-free and conventional mice were orally sensitized with whey proteins and cholera toxin, and then orally challenged with β-lactoglobulin (BLG). Allergic responses were monitored with clinical symptoms, plasma markers of sensitization, and the T-helper Th1/Th2/regulatory-T-cell balance. Microbiota compositions were analysed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and culture methods. Germ-free mice were found to be more responsive than conventional mice to sensitization, displaying a greater reduction of rectal temperature upon challenge, higher levels of blood mouse mast cell protease-1 (mMCP-1) and BLG-specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), and a systemic Th2-skewed response. This may be explained by a high susceptibility to release mMCP-1 even in the presence of low levels of IgE. Sensitization did not alter the microbiota composition. However, the absence of or low Staphylococcus colonization in the caecum was associated with high allergic manifestations. This work demonstrates that intestinal colonization protects against oral sensitization and allergic response. This is the first study to show a relationship between alterations within the subdominant microbiota and severity of food allergy.