Researchers developed a mouse model of eosinophil-associated GI allergy and found that it led to diseases with many of the features of human disease.
The researchers, at the Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati, USA, set out to find the effects of oral antigens on the GI tract.
Their mouse model showed that eosinophils accumulated in the blood, stomach, small intestine, and esophagus after the animals were exposed to oral antigens.
The researchers used an egg protein, ovalbumin, and used injections to sensitize the animals to it. The animals were then fed ovalbumin pellets specially coated to survive the stomach and move into the small intestine.
Some mice had been genetically engineered to be unable to produce the chemokine, eotaxin, and they were spared the effects of the allergic reaction on the small intestine. Eotaxin is responsible for 'summoning' eosinophils to cause an immune reaction.
Researcher Dr Marc Rothenberg said: "Allergies do affect the GI tract; they're serious, and eosinophils are the culprits.
"Since agents that block eotaxin and similar chemokines are being actively developed by a number of pharmaceutical companies, these studies provide impetus for rapidly applying these new drugs to allergy in the gut."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com