Post-sensitization administration of non-digestible oligosaccharides and Bifidobacterium breve M-16V reduces allergic symptoms in mice

Immun Inflamm Dis. 2016 Mar 24;4(2):155-165. doi: 10.1002/iid3.101. eCollection 2016 Jun.


To support dietary management of severe cow's milk allergic infants, a synbiotic mixture of non-digestible oligosaccharides and Bifidobacterium breve M-16V (B. breve) was designed from source materials that are completely cow's milk-free. It was investigated whether this specific synbiotic concept can reduce an established food allergic response in a research model for hen's egg allergy. Mice were orally sensitized once a week for 5 weeks to ovalbumin (OVA) using cholera toxin (CT) as an adjuvant. Non-sensitized mice received CT in PBS only. Sensitized mice were fed a control diet or a diet enriched with short-chain- (scFOS) and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (lcFOS), B. breve or scFOSlcFOS + B. breve for 3 weeks starting after the last sensitization. Non-sensitized mice received the control diet. Anaphylactic shock symptoms, acute allergic skin responses and serum specific IgE, mMCP-1 and galectin-9 were measured upon OVA challenge. Activated Th2-, Th1-cells and regulatory T-cells were quantified in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and cytokine profiles were analyzed. Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) were measured in ceacal samples. The acute allergic skin response was reduced in mice fed the scFOSlcFOS + B. breve diet compared to mice fed any of the other diets. A reduction in mast cell degranulation (mMCP-1) and anaphylactic shock symptoms was also observed in these mice. Unstimulated splenocyte cultures produced increased levels of IL10 and IFNg in mice fed the scFOSlcFOS + B. breve diet. Correspondingly, increased percentages of activated Th1 cells were observed in the spleen. Allergen-specific re-stimulation of splenocytes showed a decrease in IL5 production. In summary; post-sensitization administration of scFOSlcFOS + B. breve was effective in reducing allergic symptoms after allergen challenge. These effects coincided with changes in regulatory and effector T-cell subsets and increases in the SCFA propionic acid. These results suggest immune modulatory benefits of dietary intervention with a unique combination of scFOSlcFOS + B. breve in established food allergy. Whether these effects translate to human applications is subject for ongoing clinical studies.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium breve M‐16V; FOS; T cell subsets; Th1‐cells; acute allergic skin response; cow's milk allergy; fructo‐oligosaccharide; galectin‐9; immunoglobulins; inulin; mast cell; non‐digestible oligosaccharides; prebiotics; probiotics; propionic acid; regulatory T‐cells; short chain fatty acids; synbiotics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium breve*
  • Cattle
  • Chickens
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oligosaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Ovalbumin
  • Synbiotics


  • Oligosaccharides
  • Ovalbumin