Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New target identified for food allergy therapy

Date:
August 1, 2013
Source:
National Jewish Health
Summary:
Researchers have identified an enzyme that is essential to the allergic reaction to peanuts. Blocking the enzyme's activity in sensitized mice prevented diarrhea and inflammation, and reduced levels of several proteins associated with allergies. The findings identify the enzyme, known as Cyp11a1, as a potential target for treatment of increasingly common and potentially deadly food allergy.

Researchers at National Jewish Health have identified an enzyme that is essential to the allergic reaction to peanuts. Blocking the enzyme's activity in sensitized mice prevented diarrhea and inflammation, and reduced levels of several proteins associated with allergies. The findings, published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, identify the enzyme, known as Cyp11a1, as a potential target for treatment of increasingly common and potentially deadly food allergy.

Related Articles


"Right now, we have no therapy for food allergy other than to avoid the allergenic food," said senior author, Erwin Gelfand, MD, chair of Pediatrics at National Jewish Health. "In Cyp11a1, we have found an essential enzyme and signaling pathway in the intestinal allergic reaction, which are potential targets for intervention."

Food allergy has become more common in recent decades, now affecting about 8 percent of the American population. Among children, peanuts are the most common food allergy and can provoke severe, even life threatening, allergic reactions. Antihistamines and epinephrine are used in response to allergic reactions, but there is no approved therapy for the prevention of allergic reactions to food.

Cyp11a1 promotes the first and rate-limiting step in the production of corticosteroids. These steroids have long been used to treat allergic diseases because they inhibit inflammation associated with the allergic reaction. Evidence in recent years, however, has indicated that corticosteroids may also activate immune cells associated with allergic reactions.

The researchers sensitized mice to peanuts so that they became allergic to the legume. When subsequently fed peanut protein, the mice experienced diarrhea and inflammation in the small intestine. Levels of Cyp11a1 increased, as did cytokine signaling molecules IL13 and IL17A, which are associated with allergic reactions.

When the researchers used aminoglutethimide (AMG) to inhibit the enzymatic activity of Cyp11a1 in the sensitized mice, it prevented allergic diarrhea and inflammation, and reduced levels of IL13 and IL17A. It also reduced the conversion of naοve T cells into allergic Th2 and Th17 subtypes.

"While we evaluated Cyp11a1 blockade in peanut allergy, it could likely have an effect in the full range of food allergies," said Dr. Gelfand.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meiqin Wang, Julita Ramirez, Junyan Han, Yi Jia, Joanne Domenico, Max A. Seibold, James R. Hagman, Erwin W. Gelfand. The steroidogenic enzyme Cyp11a1 is essential for development of peanut-induced intestinal anaphylaxis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.027

Cite This Page:

National Jewish Health. "New target identified for food allergy therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801095950.htm>.
National Jewish Health. (2013, August 1). New target identified for food allergy therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801095950.htm
National Jewish Health. "New target identified for food allergy therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801095950.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins