PloS one

Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes cooperatively promote enteropathy in a mouse model of food allergy.

PMID 25290461


To improve the efficacy and safety of tolerance induction for food allergies, identifying the tissues responsible for inducing intestinal inflammation and subsequent oral tolerance is important. We used OVA23-3 mice, which express an ovalbumin-specific T-cell receptor, to elucidate the roles of local and systemic immune tissues in intestinal inflammation. OVA23-3 mice developed marked enteropathy after consuming a diet containing egg white (EW diet) for 10 days but overcame the enteropathy (despite continued moderate inflammation) after receiving EW diet for a total of 28 days. Injecting mice with anti-IL-4 antibody or cyclosporine A confirmed the involvement of Th2 cells in the development of the enteropathy. To assess the individual contributions of Peyer's patches (PPs), mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs), and the spleen to the generation of effector CD4+ T-cells, we analyzed the IL-4 production, proliferation in response to ovalbumin, and CD4+ T-cell numbers of these tissues. EW feeding for 10 days induced significant IL-4 production in PPs, the infiltration of numerous CD4+ T-cells into MLNs, and a decrease in CD4+ T-cell numbers in spleen. On day 28, CD4+ T-cells from all tissues had attenuated responses to ovalbumin, suggesting tolerance acquisition, although MLN CD4+ T-cells still maintained IL-4 production with proliferation. In addition, removal of MLNs but not the spleen decreased the severity of enteropathy and PP-disrupted mice showed delayed onset of EW-induced inflammatory responses. Disruption of peripheral lymphoid tissues or of both PPs and MLNs almost completely prevented the enteropathy. PPs and MLNs coordinately promote enteropathy by generating effector T-cells during the initial and exacerbated phases, respectively; the spleen is dispensable for enteropathy and shows tolerogenic responses throughout EW-feeding. The regulation of PPs may suppress the initiation of intestinal inflammation, subsequently restricting MLNs and inhibiting the progression of food-allergic enteropathy.