Context: Royal jelly (RJ) has long been used to promote human health.
Objective: The current study investigated the preventive effects of RJ against the development of a systemic and intestinal immune response in mice allergic to cow's milk proteins.
Materials and methods: Balb/c mice treated orally for seven days with RJ at doses of 0.5, 1 and 1.5 g/kg were sensitized intraperitoneally with β-lactoglobulin (β-Lg). Serum IgG and IgE anti-β-Lg were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Plasma histamine levels, symptom scores and body temperature were determined after in vivo challenge to β-Lg. Jejunums were used for assessment of local anaphylactic responses by an ex vivo study in Ussing chambers and morphologic changes by histological analysis.
Results: RJ significantly decreased serum IgG (31.15-43.78%) and IgE (64.28-66.6%) anti-β-Lg and effectively reduced plasma histamine level (66.62-67.36%) (p < 0.001) at all the doses tested. Additionally, no clinical symptoms or body temperature drops were observed in RJ-pretreated mice. Interestingly, RJ significantly reduced (p < 0.001) intestinal dysfunction by abolishing the secretory response (70.73-72.23%) induced by sensitization and prevented length aberrations of jejunal villi by 44.32-59.01% (p < 0.001).
Discussion and conclusions: We speculate that using RJ may help prevent systemic and anaphylactic response in allergic mice. These effects may be related to its inhibitory effects on the degranulation of mast cells.
Keywords: Balb/c; Ussing chamber; histamine; immunomodulator; β-Lactoglobulin.