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Hypersensitization to a food allergen can occur in the absence of immediate allergic reactions, a condition referred to as asymptomatic sensitization. Using mice asymptomatically sensitized to a bovine whey allergen, β-lactoglobulin (BLG, Bos d 5), we have previously shown that chronic exposure to the allergen results in behavior changes with increased neuroinflammation and cortical demyelination. However, whether allergen avoidance can resolve these pathologies is unknown. Thus, we aimed to compare immunological and behavioral changes in sham- or BLG-sensitized mice with or without the removal of dietary whey after the mice had consumed either a control diet (CTL) or a whey-protein-containing diet (WP) for 2 weeks. As previously reported, BLG-sensitized mice did not display overt physical reactions during the 2-week allergen exposure period, while their plasma levels of BLG-specific IgE and IgG1 were elevated compared to the respective sham groups. Following an additional 2 weeks on either the CTL or WP diet, these antibodies remained elevated in some of the sensitized mice in both diet groups. The gripstrength test indicated that sham mice that switched to the CTL diet after the 2-week WP diet increased limb strengths. In contrast, BLG-sensitized mice on either diet, as well as sham mice that stayed on the WP diet, showed a decline in limb strengths, suggesting that WP consumption, whether during sensitization or as part of the daily diet, affected their motor function. Furthermore, removing dietary WP improved spatial memory performance with the cross-maze test in both sham and BLG-sensitized mice. These results suggested that continuous exposure to a dietary allergen may influence motor and cognitive functions

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Allergy and Immunology | Biological Phenomena, Cell Phenomena, and Immunity | Pathology

Continuous consumption of whey protein affects motor and cognitive functions in a mouse model of cow’s milk hypersensitivity