Nitration of β-Lactoglobulin but not of ovomucoid enhances anaphylactic responses in food allergic mice

Susanne C. Diesner, Cornelia Schultz, Chloé Ackaert, Gertie J. Oostingh, Anna Ondracek, Caroline Stremnitzer, Josef Singer, Denise Heiden, Franziska Roth-Walter, Judit Fazekas, Vera E. Assmann, Erika Jensen-Jarolim, Hanno Stutz, Albert Duschl, Eva Untersmayr

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background We revealed in previous studies that nitration of food proteins reduces the risk of de novo sensitization in a murine food allergy model. In contrast, in situations with preformed specific IgE antibodies, in vitro experiments suggested an increased capacity of effector cell activation by nitrated food proteins. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of protein nitration on the effector phase of food allergy. Design BALB/c mice were immunized intraperitoneally (i.p.) with the milk allergen β-lactoglobulin (BLG) or the egg allergen ovomucoid (OVM), followed by intragastric (i.g.) gavages to induce a strong local inflammatory response and allergen-specific antibodies. Subsequently, naïve and allergic mice were intravenously (i.v.) challenged with untreated, sham-nitrated or nitrated BLG or OVM. Anaphylaxis was monitored by measuring core body temperature and determination of mouse mast cell protease-1 (mMCP-1) levels in blood. Results A significant drop of body temperature accompanied with significantly elevated concentrations of the anaphylaxis markermMCP-1 were only observed in BLG allergic animals challenged with nitrated BLG and not in OVM allergicmice challenged with nitrated OVM. SDS-PAGE and circular dichroism analysis of the differentially modified allergens revealed an effect of nitration on the secondary protein structure exclusively for BLG together with enhanced protein aggregation. Conclusion Our data suggest that nitration affects differently the food allergens BLG and OVM. In the case of BLG, structural changes favored dimerization possibly explaining the increased anaphylactic reactivity in BLG allergic animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0126279
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary


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