Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research
Two mouse strains, BALB/c and C3H/HeOuJ, broadly used in the field of food allergy, were compared for the evaluation of the allergenic potential of ovalbumin (OVA).,Sensitization was made by administering 2 different OVA doses (1 and 5 mg), with cholera toxin as Th2-polarizing adjuvant. Antibody levels, severity of anaphylaxis, and Th1 and Th2 responses induced by the allergen were assessed. In addition, because the mice selected had functional toll-like receptor 4, the influence of contamination with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on the immunostimulating capacity of OVA on spleen cells was also evaluated.,Both strains exhibited similar susceptibility to OVA sensitization. The 2 protein doses generated similar OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 levels in both strains, whereas C3H/HeOuJ mice produced significantly more IgG2a. Oral challenge provoked more severe manifestations in C3H/HeOuJ mice as indicated by the drop in body temperature and the severity of the anaphylactic scores. Stimulation of splenocytes with OVA led to significantly higher levels of Th2 and Th1 cytokines in BALB/c, and these were less affected by protein contamination with LPS.,The antibody and cytokine levels induced by OVA in BALB/c mice and the observation that BALB/c spleen cell cultures were more resistant than those of C3H/HeOuJ mice to the stimulus of LPS make this strain prone to exhibit Th2-mediated food allergic reactions and very adequate for the study of the features of OVA that make it allergenic.