Hydrolyzed whey protein prevents the development of food allergy to β-lactoglobulin in sensitized mice

Cell Immunol. 2015 Nov-Dec;298(1-2):47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Sep 5.


Food allergy is an adverse immune response to dietary proteins. Hydrolysates are frequently used for children with milk allergy. However, hydrolysates effects afterwards are poorly studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the immunological consequences of hydrolyzed whey protein in allergic mice. For that, we developed a novel model of food allergy in BALB/c mice sensitized with alum-adsorbed β-lactoglobulin. These mice were orally challenged with either whey protein or whey hydrolysate. Whey-challenged mice had elevated levels of specific IgE and lost weight. They also presented gut inflammation, enhanced levels of SIgA and IL-5 as well as decreased production of IL-4 and IL-10 in the intestinal mucosa. Conversely, mice challenged with hydrolyzate maintained normal levels of IgE, IL-4 and IL-5 and showed no sign of gut inflammation probably due to increased IL-12 production in the gut. Thus, consumption of hydrolysate prevented the development of clinical signs of food allergy in mice.

Keywords: Cytokine; Food allergy; Hydrolysate; SIgA; Whey protein; β-Lactoglobulin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p35 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p35 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Lactoglobulins / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Protein Hydrolysates / administration & dosage
  • Protein Hydrolysates / immunology*
  • Whey / immunology
  • Whey Proteins / immunology*
  • Whey Proteins / pharmacology


  • IL10 protein, mouse
  • Il12a protein, mouse
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p35
  • Interleukin-5
  • Lactoglobulins
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Whey Proteins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E