Mucosal Passage and Handling of Food-Protein Antigens

  • M. Stern
Conference paper


The occurrence of cow’s milk allergy (CMA) was reported early in this century [29] as an example of food-protein allergy during early infancy in man. Using indirect immunological methods, different researchers demonstrated that food proteins in young infants were taken up either undigested [35] or incompletely digested [13]. For a long time after this early work, increased uptake of incompletely digested food protein material was thought to constitute the major pathogenetic factor in the development of food allergy. The results of animal studies and a few human studies have provided new insights into the complicated interrelation between mucosal barrier elements and the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and into processes such as the mucosal handling and transmucosal passage of food proteins. Clinical methods have made possible the definition of the relative allergenic potential of single cow’s milk proteins (Table 1; for references see [29]).


Food Allergy Food Protein Microvillus Membrane Pepsin Hydrolysis Major Pathogenetic Factor 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • M. Stern

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