A Rice-Based Edible Vaccine Expressing Multiple T-cell Epitopes to Induce Oral Tolerance and Inhibit Allergy

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2007 Feb;27(1):129-39. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2006.11.001.


Plant pollens are the most common cause of seasonal allergic disease. The number of patients undergoing treatment for allergies to the pollen of Japanese cedar (major antigens, Cry j 1 and Cry j 2) has increased steadily each year. A rice seed-based edible vaccine has been shown to be effective for treating Japanese cedar pollinosis. Rice seeds containing the major T-cell epitopes derived from cedar pollen allergens were orally administrated to mice before systemic challenge with total pollen protein. Mucosal immune tolerance leading to a reduction of allergen-specific IgE, T-cell proliferative reactions, and histamine were induced, resulting in suppression of allergy-specific symptoms such as sneezing. Oral seed-based peptide immunotherapy offers a safe, simple, and cost-effective alternative to conventional allergen-specific immunotherapy using crude allergen extracts for treating allergic disease. A human version of rice seed-based edible vaccine containing seven T-cell epitopes from the Cry j 1 and Cry j 2 allergens was recently developed and is undergoing safety assessments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / immunology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines, Edible / immunology


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Vaccines, Edible