High dietary fat intake induces a microbiota signature that promotes food allergy.

Hussain, Maryam; Bonilla-Rosso, Germán; Kwong Chung, Cheong K. C.; Bäriswyl, Lukas; Rodriguez, Maria Pena; Kim, Brian S; Engel, Philipp; Noti, Mario (2019). High dietary fat intake induces a microbiota signature that promotes food allergy. Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 144(1), 157-170.e8. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.01.043

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Diet-induced obesity and food allergies increase in tandem, but a potential cause-and-effect relationship between these diseases of affluence remains to be tested.


We sought to test the role of high dietary fat intake, diet-induced obesity, and associated changes in gut microbial community structure on food allergy pathogenesis.


Mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks before food allergen sensitization on an atopic dermatitis-like skin lesion, followed by intragastric allergen challenge to induce experimental food allergy. Germ-free animals were colonized with a signature HFD or lean microbiota for 8 weeks before induction of food allergy. Food-induced allergic responses were quantified by using a clinical allergy score, serum IgE levels, serum mouse mast cell protease 1 concentrations, and type 2 cytokine responses. Accumulation of intestinal mast cells was examined by using flow cytometry and chloroacetate esterase tissue staining. Changes in the gut microbial community structure were assessed by using high-throughput 16S ribosomal DNA gene sequencing.


HFD-induced obesity potentiates food-induced allergic responses associated with dysregulated intestinal effector mast cell responses, increased intestinal permeability, and gut dysbiosis. An HFD-associated microbiome was transmissible to germ-free mice, with the gut microbial community structure of recipients segregating according to the microbiota input source. Independent of an obese state, an HFD-associated gut microbiome was sufficient to confer enhanced susceptibility to food allergy.


These findings identify HFD-induced microbial alterations as risk factors for experimental food allergy and uncouple a pathogenic role of an HFD-associated microbiome from obesity. Postdieting microbiome alterations caused by overindulgence of dietary fat might increase susceptibility to food allergy.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology > Immunopathology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Hussain, Maryam; Kwong Chung, Cheong Kwet Choy; Bäriswyl, Lukas and Noti, Mario








Christa Hagert

Date Deposited:

13 Nov 2019 14:59

Last Modified:

14 May 2020 11:01

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Food allergy IgE basophils diet-induced obesity dysbiosis germ-free high-fat diet mast cells microbiota





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