Gluten tolerance prevents oral sensitization with enzymatic or acid hydrolyzed gluten: A study in Brown Norway rats

Charlotte Bernhard Madsen*, Katrine Lindholm Bøgh

*Corresponding author for this work

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There are several reports describing allergy to hydrolyzed wheat products. After a large outbreak in Japan it was established that sensitization was caused by skin contact with acid hydrolyzed gluten in soap. It is still not clear if other forms of hydrolyzed gluten may sensitize, and if the skin is the only relevant route of sensitization in humans and to what extent oral tolerance to wheat play a role. The aim of the present study was to examine if wheat-tolerant rats may be sensitized via the oral or i.p. route when exposed to gluten, enzymatic or acid hydrolyzed gluten. Brown Norway rats, tolerant to wheat, were dosed by three i.p. injections without adjuvant or by oral gavage daily for 35 days with the three gluten products, respectively. Sera were analyzed by ELISA for specific IgG1 and IgE. In addition inhibition and avidity ELISAs were performed. Results were compared to a similar study in rats naïve to wheat. More than half the animals had measurable IgG1 at the start of the dosing period. I.p. immunization resulted in significant specific IgG1 and IgE to the antigen used for immunization but significantly lower than in naïve rats. The results of inhibition and avidity ELISA's indicate that the underlying tolerance to epitopes common to the three products influences the immune response. Oral dosing did not induce significant changes in response to either gluten or the hydrolyzed gluten product used for dosing. The study shows that i.p. immunization with the three products can break the underlying tolerance to wheat. Exposure by the oral route to enzymatic or acid hydrolyzed gluten is very unlikely to break an already established tolerance to gluten and induce sensitization.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0231139
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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