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Mouse strain differences in response to oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy

Wagenaar, L;Bol-Schoenmakers, MWHC;Giustarini, G;Garssen, J;Smit, JJ;Pieters, RHH;

Promising therapies for food allergy are emerging, mostly based on animal experimentation. However, different mouse strains are used, which may make it hard to compare experiments. The current study investigated whether the immunological differences between C3H/HeOuJ (C3H) and BALB/c mice lead to differences in efficacy of peanut-specific immunotherapy. After sensitization using peanut extract (PE), C3H and BALB/c mice received oral immunotherapy (OIT) by intragastric dosing for three weeks. Hereafter, mice were exposed to PE via the intradermal, intragastric and intraperitoneal route, to determine allergic outcomes. Furthermore, PE-specific antibody and cytokine production were determined and the number of various immune cells at different time points during the study were measured. OIT protected C3H mice against anaphylaxis, whereas no anaphylaxis was seen in BALB/c mice. In contrast, OIT induced an increase in MMCP-1 levels in BALB/c mice but not in C3H mice. No effect of OIT on the acute allergic skin response was observed in either strain. Specific antibody responses showed similar patterns in both strains for IgA and IgG1. IgE levels were a tenfold higher in BALB/c mice and after the intragastric challenge (day 70) OIT-treated BALB/c mice showed induced IgE levels. Moreover, in C3H mice IgG2a levels were higher and increased in response to OIT and challenges. After the final challenge, but not at other timepoints MLN-derived lymphocytes from OIT-treated BALB/c mice produced less IL-13 and IL-5 compared to control-treated mice, whereas no differences were seen in case of C3H mice. Taken together, these results show that the C3H strain is more suitable to study clinical outcomes of OIT, whereas the BALB/c strain is more optimal to study T cell responses. 2019 The Authors. Immunity, Inflammation and Disease Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.