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Food allergen-specific sublingual immunotherapy modulates peripheral T cell responses of dogs with adverse food reactions

  • Maina, Elisa
  • Devriendt, Bert
  • Cox, Eric
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2019.05.003
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Food allergen-specific sublingual immunotherapy (FA-SLIT) is a novel, safe and effective approach in dogs with adverse food reactions (AFR) to reduce their clinical symptoms. However, little is known about the specific immune components which mediate this reduction in clinical symptoms. In humans, regulatory T cells seem to play an important role in this desensitisation process. Here, we investigated changes in peripheral T cell responses of dogs with AFR upon FA-SLIT. Five dogs received a dose escalation of FA-SLIT over a six-month period. An oral food challenge was performed at the beginning and end of the study to assess the efficacy of the FA-SLIT. Using in vitro allergen-recall assays, we assessed the proliferation of T cell subsets before and at the end of the treatment. FA-SLIT significantly increased the percentage of proliferating CD4-CD8- double-negative (DN) T cells, while the percentage of allergen-specific CD4-CD8+ and CD4+CD8+ double-positive (DP) T cells decreased upon treatment. These findings indicate that sublingual immunotherapy in dogs activates DN T cells, which might be important for the desensitisation of dogs with adverse food reactions. However, further research is needed to corroborate these findings and to further elucidate the mechanism of action of FA-SLIT in dogs with AFR.

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