Cutaneous exposure to food allergens can predispose individuals to food allergies. Soybean, a major allergenic food, is an ingredient in various cosmetic products. However, the types of soybean proteins that are percutaneously sensitizing in humans or animal models remain unknown. In this study, BALB/c mice were dorsally shaved and epicutaneously exposed to a crude soybean extract including sodium dodecyl sulfate or distilled water alone. Specific IgEs secreted in response to 7S globulin (Gly m 5), 11S globulin (Gly m 6), Gly m 3, and Gly m 4 were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays or immunoblots. Exposure to soybean extract elicited the secretion of soybean-specific IgEs. Of the soybean proteins, 7S and 11S globulins acted as percutaneous sensitizers in 6/9 mice (67%). Additionally, IgE bound specifically and preferentially to the 7S globulin β subunit. In conclusion, this is the first report to identify percutaneously sensitizing soybean allergens in a mouse model.
Keywords: Food allergy; allergen; percutaneous sensitization; soybean.