Oral gene delivery with chitosan-DNA nanoparticles generates immunologic protection in a murine model of peanut allergy

Krishnendu Roy, Hai Quan Mao, Shau Ku Huang, Kam W. Leong

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995 Citations (Scopus)


Food allergy is a common and often fatal disease with no effective treatment. We describe here a new immunoprophylactic strategy using oral allergen-gene immunization to modulate peanut antigen-induced murine anaphylactic responses. Oral administration of DNA nanoparticles synthesized by complexing plasmid DNA with chitosan, a natural biocompatible polysaccharide, resulted in transduced gene expression in the intestinal epithelium. Mice receiving nanoparticles containing a dominant peanut allergen gene (pCMVArah2) produced secretory IgA and serum IgG2a. Compared with non-immunized mice or mice treated with 'naked' DNA, mice immunized with nanoparticles showed a substantial reduction in allergen-induced anaphylaxis associated with reduced levels of IgE, plasma histamine and vascular leakage. These results demonstrate that oral allergen-gene immunization with chitosan- DNA nanoparticles is effective in modulating murine anaphylactic responses, and indicate its prophylactic utility in treating food allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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