The mother's and the offspring's immunological system are closely related thus one can influence the other. This hypothesis drove our aim to study the impact of the mother's immunological status over the immunological response of their offspring. For this, female mice tolerant or allergic to peanuts were exposed or not to a challenge diet containing peanuts during the gestation-lactation period (TEP/AEP; TNEP/ANEP, respectively). After weaning the offspring was submitted to the peanut allergy or peanut tolerization protocol and then challenged with a peanut diet. Our results showed that when the offspring is submitted to the allergy induction protocol, they behave differently depending on their mother's immunological status. Offspring born to TEP mothers produced the lowest antibody titters while those born to AEP mothers produced the highest antibody titters compared to mice born to TNEP and ANEP. On the other hand when the offspring was submitted to the tolerization protocol all groups presented low antibody titers with no significant difference between groups, independent of the mothers immunological status and/or contact with peanuts during the gestation-lactation period. The analysis of the histological profile of the offspring correlates well to the serological response. In other words, offspring born to TEP mothers and submitted to the allergy induction protocol presented a normal histological profile, while the offspring born to AEP mothers produced the worst gut inflammation. These results indicate that mothers, exposed to the antigen (by the oral route) during gestation, actively influence the immune response of their offspring. This work sheds some light on the importance of the immunomodulation induced by dietary antigens during gestation and their influence on the immunological response of their offspring. However, more work is needed to elucidate the molecular and cellular components of this regulatory phenomenon.
Keywords: Food allergy; Gut inflammation; Offspring; Oral tolerance; Peanuts.
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