J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):1039-46.
Maternal peanut exposure during pregnancy and lactation reduces peanut allergy risk in offspring.
Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.
BACKGROUND: Maternal allergy is believed to be a risk factor for peanut allergy (PNA) in children. However, there is no direct evidence of maternal transmission of PNA susceptibility, and it is unknown whether maternal peanut exposure affects the development of PNA in offspring. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of maternal PNA on offspring reactions to the first peanut exposure, and whether maternal low-dose peanut exposure during pregnancy and lactation influences these reactions and peanut sensitization in a murine model. METHODS: Five-week-old offspring of PNA C3H/HeJ mothers (PNA-Ms) were challenged intragastrically with peanut (first exposure), and reactions were determined. In a subset of the experiment, PNA-Ms were fed a low dose of peanut (PNA-M/PN) or not fed peanut (PNA-M/none) during pregnancy and lactation. Their 5-week-old offspring were challenged intragastrically with peanut, and reactions were determined. In another subset of the experiment, offspring of PNA-M/PN or PNA-M/none were sensitized with peanut intragastrically for 6 weeks, and serum peanut-specific antibodies were determined. RESULTS: PNA-M offspring exhibited anaphylactic reactions at first exposure to peanut that were associated with peanut-specific IgG(1) levels and prevented by a platelet activation factor antagonist. In a subset experiment, PNA-M/PN offspring showed significantly reduced first-exposure peanut reactions, increased IgG(2a), and reduced mitogen-stimulated splenocyte cytokine production compared with PNA-M/none offspring. In an additional experiment, PNA-M/PN offspring showed reduction of peanut-specific IgE to active peanut sensitization. CONCLUSION: We show for the first time maternal transmission of susceptibility to first-exposure peanut reactions and active peanut sensitization. Low-dose peanut exposure during pregnancy and lactation reduced this risk.
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