Food allergies affect about 4% of the Korean population, and buckwheat allergy is one of the most severe food allergies in Korea. The purpose of the present study was to develop a murine model of IgE-mediated buckwheat hypersensitivity induced by intragastric sensitization. Young female C3H/HeJ mice were sensitized and challenged intragastricly with fresh buckwheat flour (1, 5, 25 mg/dose of proteins) mixed in cholera toxin, followed by intragastric challenge. Anaphylactic reactions, antigen-specific antibodies, splenocytes proliferation assays and cytokine productions were evaluated. Oral buckwheat challenges of sensitized mice provoked anaphylactic reactions such as severe scratch, perioral/periorbital swellings, or decreased activity. Reactions were associated with elevated levels of buckwheat-specific IgE antibodies. Splenocytes from buckwheat allergic mice exhibited significantly greater proliferative responses to buckwheat than non-allergic mice. Buckwheat-stimulated IL-4, IL-5, and INF-γ productions were associated with elevated levels of buckwheat-specific IgE in sensitized mice. In this model, 1 mg and 5 mg dose of sensitization produced almost the same degree of Th2-directed immune response, however, a 25 mg dose showed blunted antibody responses. In conclusion, we developed IgE-mediated buckwheat allergy by intragastric sensitization and challenge, and this model could provide a good tool for future studies.
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