Egg Yolk Provides Th2 Adjuvant Stimuli and Promotes Sensitization to Egg White Allergens in BALB/c Mice

Alba Pablos-Tanarro, Daniel Lozano-Ojalvo, Mónica Martínez-Blanco, Elena Molina, Rosina López-Fandiño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Scope: Egg is the second most frequent source of allergic reactions in children. Egg yolk (EY) amounts to one-third in weight of a fresh whole egg, but its contribution to egg allergy has not been investigated in depth. This study assesses whether EY influences the capacity of egg white (EW) to sensitize and trigger allergic responses. Methods and results: BALB/c mice were exposed to EW, EY, and their mixture, using models of orally (with and without adjuvant) and adjuvant-free intraperitoneally induced allergy. In vitro assays were also conducted to examine epithelial and dendritic cell (DC) functions. Results showed that EY played a role during the sensitizing phase of allergy. EY exerted local Th2-biasing effects through the upregulation of intestinal IL-33 expression and it also favored Th2 polarization directly during DC presentation of allergens to T cells. Conclusion: The results obtained reveal that EY provides Th2-adjuvant stimuli to the immune system that may increase the susceptibility to develop egg allergy. The joint administration of EW and EY may be a trigger for initiation or maintenance of egg allergy with implications in prevention strategies regarding egg introduction in the diet of susceptible children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800057
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • IL-33
  • Th2 responses
  • dendritic cells
  • egg allergy
  • egg yolk
  • sensitization


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