Chitin enhances serum IgE in Aspergillus fumigatus induced allergy in mice.

Author: Dubey LK, Moeller JB, Schlosser A, Sorensen GL, Holmskov U.

Date: 13 July 2015


Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is a ubiquitous fungus that activates, suppresses or modulates the immune response by changing its cell wall structure and by secreting proteases. In this study, we show that chitin acts as an adjuvant in a murine model of A. fumigatus protease induced allergy. The mice were immunised intraperitoneally with A. fumigatus culture filtrate antigen either with or without chitin and were subsequently challenged with the culture filtrate antigen intranasally. Alum was used as an adjuvant control. Compared to alum, chitin induced a weaker inflammatory response in the lungs, measured as the total cell efflux in BAL, EPO and chitinase production. However, chitin enhanced the total IgE, specific IgE and specific IgG1 production as efficiently as alum. Pre-treatment with chitin but not with alum depressed the concentration of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in BAL fluid. These results shows that chitin, in spite of a reduction of the Th2 cytokine levels in the lungs, enhanced the total and specific IgE production in A. fumigatus culture filtrate induced allergy.

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