Maternal and early-life vitamin D deficiency enhances allergic reaction in an ovalbumin-sensitized BALB/c mouse model
Background: Recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the high prevalence of food allergy but the underlying mechanisms are far from clear.
Objective: The present study was designed to investigate the effect of maternal and early-life vitamin D deficiency in the development of food allergy.
Design: BALB/c mice were treated with ovalbumin (OVA) to trigger allergic reactions, under vitamin D-deficient (by maternal and early-life feeding of vitamin D deprived chow diet) or vitamin D-sufficient conditions.
Results: Increased occurrence and severity of allergic diarrhea as well as decreased rectal temperature were observed after OVA sensitization. For vitamin D deficiency groups, OVA-specific IgE and IL-4 levels were significantly increased, while IFN-γ levels were unchanged. Vitamin D deficiency also attenuated the structure of small intestinal villi and decreased the expression of the tight junction protein between adjacent epithelial cells and the percentages of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+Treg cell in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes.
Conclusions: Maternal and early-life vitamin D deficiency have notable influence on the susceptibility to food allergy, which may relate with the reduced population of Treg cell and the dysfunction of intestinal epithelial barrier.
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