Peanut Allergy: a pain in the guts
Deakin researcher discovers allergy mechanism.
Peanut allergens cross a model of the gut lining, causing it to leak, new research by Dr Dwan Price from Deakin University in Victoria has revealed.
The allergens hijack the transport mechanisms of cells in the intestine, disrupting the bonds that hold the gut lining together, making it permeable.
“This is an extremely exciting finding because it helps explain why peanut allergens are so very potent,” Dr Price says.
“It helps us understand why peanut allergy persists lifelong and only trace amounts are needed to trigger fatal anaphylaxis.”
“It’s important to note, that this work was performed on intestinal cells and doesn’t mean that peanuts will make your gut leaky. What it means is we know more about this powerful allergen and how it acts to trigger allergy”
The discovery provides new opportunities to tackle the condition, which affects 4% of the population. These include finding ways to prevent the allergen attacking the gut lining – and the development of a novel nut that doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction.
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Feature photo credit: Pexels
- 2017 PUBLICATION – Identifying epithelial endocytotic mechanisms of the peanut allergens Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 DOI: 10.1159/000451085: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/451085
- 2014 PUBLICATION – Peanut allergens alter intestinal barrier permeability and tight junction localisation in Caco-2 Cell cultures1 https://doi.org/10.1159/000362956
- 2013 PUBLICATION – Nuts’n’guts: transport of food allergens across the intestinal epithelium https://doi.org/10.5415/apallergy.2013.3.4.257