Changes in lifestyle appear to contribute to the strong increase of immune diseases. Among others, dietary factors have been demonstrated to influence the immune system and are therefore potential candidates that may contribute to the steadily increasing prevalence of food allergy.
In this project, we examine the impact of dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) on local immune processes of the gastro-intestinal tract in general and food allergy related immune responses in detail. We focus on the intestinal epithelium as well as dendritic cells and the cross-talk between these cells. We are interested in changes in signaling, cytokine expression patterns as well as gene expression.
We hypothesize that dAGEs induce changes in the local gut environment that affect the intestinal homeostasis and subsequently lead to a Th2-biased immune response favoring allergic sensitization in susceptible individuals.