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Raw Cow’s Milk Reduces Allergic Symptoms in a Murine Model for Food Allergy-A Potential Role For Epigenetic Modifications

Abbring, S;Wolf, J;Ayechu-Muruzabal, V;Diks, MAP;Alhamwe, BA;Alhamdan, F;Harb, H;Renz, H;Garn, H;Garssen, J;Potaczek, DP;van Esch, BCAM;

Epidemiological studies identified raw cow’s milk consumption as an important environmental exposure that prevents allergic diseases. In the present study, we investigated whether raw cow’s milk has the capacity to induce tolerance to an unrelated, non-milk, food allergen. Histone acetylation of T cell genes was investigated to assess potential epigenetic regulation. Female C3H/HeOuJ mice were sensitized and challenged to ovalbumin. Prior to sensitization, the mice were treated with raw milk, processed milk, or phosphate-buffered saline for eight days. Allergic symptoms were assessed after challenge and histone modifications in T cell-related genes of splenocyte-derived CD4+ T cells and the mesenteric lymph nodes were analyzed after milk exposure and after challenge. Unlike processed milk, raw milk decreased allergic symptoms. After raw milk exposure, histone acetylation of Th1-, Th2-, and regulatory T cell-related genes of splenocyte-derived CD4+ T cells was higher than after processed milk exposure. After allergy induction, this general immune stimulation was resolved and histone acetylation of Th2 genes was lower when compared to processed milk. Raw milk reduces allergic symptoms to an unrelated, non-milk, food allergen in a murine model for food allergy. The activation of T cell-related genes could be responsible for the observed tolerance induction, which suggested that epigenetic modifications contribute to the allergy-protective effect of raw milk.