Oral administration of chitin and chitosan prevents peanut-induced anaphylaxis in a murine food allergy model

Int J Biol Macromol. 2013 Oct;61:164-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.06.017. Epub 2013 Jun 24.


Peanut allergy is IgE-mediated type-I hypersensitivity, and T helper 2 cytokines are central to those pathogenesis. We investigated the effects of the administration of chitin and chitosan on peanut-induced hypersensitivities in mouse food allergy models. Chitin and chitosan protected mice against peanut-induced anaphylaxis reactions, and the peanut-specific IgE production decreased by up to 47% with the administration of β-chitosan. The levels of IL-5, IL-13, and IL-10 were significantly suppressed in all groups (α-chitin≥β-chitin≥β-chitosan). These results suggested that the administration of chitin and chitosan from by-products of food processing are beneficial for the prevention of food allergies.

Keywords: APC; Ag; CPE; CT; Chitin; Chitosan; DMSO; ELISA; GWP; HRP; IFN; IL; Ig; IgE suppression; Peanut allergy; T-helper; Th; Th2 inhibition; antigen; antigen-presenting cells; cholera toxin; crude peanut extract; dimethyl sulfoxide; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ground whole peanut; horseradish peroxidase; immunoglobulin; interferon; interleukin; mAb; monoclonal antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • Anaphylaxis / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Arachis / adverse effects
  • Arachis / immunology
  • Chitin / administration & dosage*
  • Chitin / chemistry
  • Chitosan / administration & dosage*
  • Chitosan / chemistry
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Mice
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Chitin
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Chitosan