Antigenic specificity of serum antibodies in mice fed soy protein

Hanne Risager Christensen, S.W. Bruun, Hanne Frøkiær

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Background: Soybean protein is used in a number of food products but unfortunately is also a common cause of food allergy. Upon ingestion of soy protein, healthy mice like other animals and humans generate a soy-specific antibody response in the absence of signs of illness. Not much is known about the relationship between the immunogenic proteins involved in this nondeleterious antibody response and the pathological response associated with food allergy. The objective of the present study was to characterize the antigenic specificity of the soy protein-specific antibody response generated in healthy mice ingesting soy protein. Methods: Blood from mice fed a soy-containing diet was analyzed using ELISA and immunoblot for antibody reactivity towards various soy protein fractions and pure soy proteins/subunits. Mice bred on a soy-free diet were used as controls. Results: The detectable antigenic specificity of the serum antibodies of soy-consuming mice comprised glycinin and beta-conglycinin. Immunoblots with soy protein extract demonstrated antibody reactivity towards both the basic and the acidic chains of glycinin and the beta-conglycinin subunits with an individual response pattern among mice. Moreover, antibody reactivity was found towards the native quaternary structure of glycinin. Conclusions: Mice ingesting soy protein generate an antibody response with reactivity towards glycinin and beta-conglycinin. Antibody reactivity found towards the native quaternary structure of glycinin indicates an oral immunogenicity of the highly processing-resistant oligomerized glycinin.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)58-67
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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