Scope: Considering the increasing numbers of patients suffering from food allergy (FA) as well as the great variety of novel foods and food compositions, an unmet need exists for the development of preclinical approaches to characterize the allergenic potential of proteins. The aim of our study was to evaluate the allergenicity of different food allergens in a rat model. Methods: Brown Norway rats were sensitized to protein extracts (RuBisCO, apple, soy, peanut, garden pea) or ovalbumin (OVA) combined with Bordetella pertussis and aluminium hydroxide, followed by oral allergen challenges. Results: Allergen-specific serum immunoglobulin production and the proliferation of mononuclear cells from spleen confirmed sensitization. To assess functional alterations in the gut, intestinal permeability was measured, which increased in sensitized and challenged animals compared to non-sensitized controls. Allergens with high allergenic potential (peanut, OVA, soy) caused a stronger immunological response than allergens with low allergenic potential, such as RuBisCO and apple. Moreover, the immunological responses were reduced when using boiled instead of raw soy and pea proteins. Conclusion: This model mimics key features of FA and facilitates investigating the allergenicity of allergens in novel food or food compositions in vivo.

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