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Assessment of the Allergenic Potential of the Main Egg White Proteins in BALB/c Mice

Pablos-Tanarro, A;Lozano-Ojalvo, D;Molina, E;Lpez-Fandio, R;

This work aimed to assess the contribution of the major egg white proteins, ovalbumin, ovomucoid, and lysozyme, to the induction and elicitation of allergenic responses. For this purpose, BALB/c mice were orally administered either the individual egg allergens or a mixture of the three proteins in the same proportion, to evaluate their relative allergenicity avoiding their different abundance in egg white. Cholera toxin was used as a T helper 2 (Th2)-polarizing adjuvant. Ovomucoid and lysozyme triggered the most severe anaphylaxis reactions upon oral challenge. In comparison to ovalbumin and ovomucoid, lysozyme was a more active promotor of early immunoglobulin E and immunoglobulin G1 production and stimulated stronger Th2-biased responses from both mesenteric lymph node and spleen cells. These results indicate that lysozyme is highly immunogenic and should be considered as a major allergen, whose clinical usefulness in the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic approaches of egg allergy deserves further consideration.