European Journal Of Nutrition
Egg yolk (EY) may play a role during the sensitizing phase of egg allergy by exerting intestinal type 2-biasing effects. We aimed to identify the mechanism and role of EY in the induction of allergy to egg white (EW). BALB/c mice were exposed intragastrically to EW, EY, or the mixture of EW:EY. In addition in vitro experiments were conducted with intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), dendritic cells (DCs), and T cells from nave mice. Inflammatory and type 2 responses were evaluated. Administration of EW upregulated duodenal expression of factors that influence epithelial barrier integrity and function, such as Muc2 and Cldn2, type 2-promoting epithelial cytokines Il33 and Il25, DC genes Irf4 and Tnfsf4, and Th2-cytokines Il14 and Il13. EW:EY further increased the expression of Il25 and Tslp in the duodenum, Il33 and Tslp in the jejunum, and the proportion of lamina propria group 2 innate immune cells (ILC2s) over EW alone. Moreover, it distinctively enhanced the expression of Irf4 and Cd1d1 in the Peyer’s patches (PPs), and of Il6, Il33, Gata3, and Il13, both in PPs and mesenteric lymph nodes. In co-cultures of DCs and T cells, EW:EY induced a higher expression of Gata3, Il4, and Il13, secretion of IL-13 and expansion of CD4+ T cells expressing ST2, the IL-33 receptor, than EW or EY added individually. Co-administration of EY may promote sensitization to EW through activation of innate immune cells, such as IECs, DCs and ILC2s, that are central to the progress of allergies.