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Selenium Modulates the Allergic Response to Whey Protein in a Mouse Model for Cows Milk Allergy

Zhao, X;Thijssen, S;Chen, H;Garssen, J;Knippels, L;Hogenkamp, A;

Cow’s milk allergy is a common food allergy in infants, and is associated with an increased risk of developing other allergic diseases. Dietary selenium (Se), one of the essential micronutrients for humans and animals, is an important bioelement which can influence both innate and adaptive immune responses. However, the effects of Se on food allergy are still largely unknown. In the current study it was investigated whether dietary Se supplementation can inhibit whey-induced food allergy in an animal research model. Three-week-old female C3H/HeOuJ mice were intragastrically sensitized with whey protein and cholera toxin and randomly assigned to receive a control, low, medium or high Se diet. Acute allergic symptoms, allergen specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E levels and mast cell degranulation were determined upon whey challenge. Body temperature was significantly higher in mice that received the medium Se diet 60 min after the oral challenge with whey compared to the positive control group, which is indicative of impaired anaphylaxis. This was accompanied by reductions in antigen-specific immunoglobulins and reduced levels of mouse mast cell protease-1 (mMCP-1). This study demonstrates that oral Se supplementation may modulate allergic responses to whey by decreasing specific antibody responses and mMCP-1 release.