Methods: C3H/HeJ mice were concurrently sensitized to peanut (PN), walnut (WN) and cashew (CSH). Oral challenge with individual nuts induced anaphylactic reactions. Some multiple nut allergic mice then received twice daily B-FAHF-2, control mice received sham treatment. OIT using a PN/WN/CSH mixture was then performed. After completing OIT all mice were orally challenged twice with a PN/WN/CSH mixture, and then with individual nuts. Symptom scores and core body temperatures were recorded on day 1 of OIT and after each challenge. Histamine, nut-specific IgEs, and cultured splenocyte cytokines were measured by ELISA.
Results: BFAHF-2 treated mice exhibited fewer OIT adverse reactions, lower symptom scores and serum histamine levels than sham-treated mice (P<0.05-0.01 for all). At post-OIT challenges treated mice exhibited lower levels of nut-specific IgEs, fewer and milder reactions and lower histamine levels than control mice (P<0.05-0.01). IFN-gamma/IL-13 and IL-10/IL-13 ratios in cell cultures from B-FAHF-2 treated MNA mice but not control mice were elevated (P<0.05).
Conclusions: BFAHF-2 pretreatment reduced adverse reactions during OIT, and produced greater post-OIT protection and a beneficial immunregulation. Addition of BFAHF-2 to an OIT regimen for human food allergy may improve its safety and efficacy.