Immunologic and metabolic effects of high-refined carbohydrate-containing diet in food allergic mice

Nutrition. 2016 Feb;32(2):273-80. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.08.011. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


Objective: Allergic mice show a reduction in body weight and adiposity with a higher inflammatory response in the adipose tissue similar to obese fat tissue. This study aimed to evaluate whether the low-grade inflammatory milieu of mice with diet-induced mild obesity interferes with the allergic response induced by ovalbumin (OVA).

Methods: BALB/c mice were divided into four groups: 1) non-allergic (OVA-) mice fed chow diet, 2) allergic (OVA+) mice fed chow diet, 3) OVA- mice fed high-refined carbohydrate-containing (HC) diet, and 4) OVA+ mice fed HC diet. After 5 wk, allergic groups were sensitized with OVA and received a booster 14 d later. All groups received an oral OVA challenge 7 d after the booster.

Results: Allergic groups showed increased serum levels of total IgE, anti-OVA IgE, and IgG1; a high disease activity index score; aversion to OVA; and increased intestinal eosinophil infiltration. Non-allergic mild-obese mice also showed aversion to OVA and an increased number of eosinophils in the proximal jejunum. After the allergic challenge, OVA+ mice fed chow diet showed weight loss and lower adiposity in several adipose tissue depots. OVA+ mice fed HC diet showed a loss of fat mass only in the mesenteric adipose tissue. Furthermore, increased levels of TNF, IL-6, and IL-10 were observed in this tissue.

Conclusions: Our data show that mild-obese allergic mice do not present severe pathologic features of food allergy similar to those exhibited by lean allergic mice. Mild obesity promoted by HC diet ingestion causes important intestinal disorders that appear to modulate the inflammatory response during the antigen challenge.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Food allergy; Gut; High-carbohydrate diet; Inflammation; Metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adiposity
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / blood
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Ovalbumin / immunology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin