Atopic dermatitis (AD) and food allergy are closely linked; however, the mechanisms that guide the progression of AD to allergic inflammatory responses at other mucosal surfaces, including the gastrointestinal tract, are not well understood. Here, we determined that exposure of mice that have been epicutaneously sensitized with thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and antigen to repeated oral doses of the same antigen induced acute diarrhea and anaphylaxis. In this model, loss of TSLP signaling specifically in DCs led to loss of induced allergic diarrhea through lack of sensitization. While TSLP responses were not required during oral allergen challenge, CD4+ T cells were required and transferred disease when introduced into naive hosts. In addition, oral exposure to the antigen prior to skin sensitization blocked development of allergic disease. Finally, mice lacking the receptor for IL-25 failed to develop acute diarrhea and anaphylaxis, highlighting a role for IL-25 in the initiation of type 2 immunity in the intestine. These results demonstrate a role for TSLP and IL-25 in the atopic march from skin sensitization to food allergic responses and provide a model system for the generation of potential therapeutic interventions.
Hongwei Han, Tennille D. Thelen, Michael R. Comeau, Steven F. Ziegler