The purpose of the presented experiments was to study the possibility of using the Brown Norway rat as a model for food allergy in our laboratory. Specific serum IgE against ovalbumin (OVA) was induced after dosing male and female Brown Norway rats daily by gavage for 35 days. The influence of various preparations of allergen: OVA grade 11, OVA grade V, and fresh egg white, age (4 versus 8 weeks), dosing volumes, and animal suppliers was studied. A general finding was that females had statistically significantly higher specific IgE and IgG titres and number of responders than males. Egg white preparation, age, dosing volume, and animal supplier did not statistically significantly influence the median IgE and IgG titres and number of responders. The difference between immune responses in males and females could not be attributed to variations in daily intake of OVA or exposure via the lung. In our hands, the oral Brown rat food allergy model gives rise to a moderate number of IgE responders, 13-38 and 38-75% in males and females, respectively. For further experiments with this model in our laboratory, females seem the sex of choice. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Food allergy