The role of lipocalins in allergic sensitization and their novel role in symptom relief: Two faces of one protein family
More details
Hide details
Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Centre of Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Interuniversity Messerli Research Institute, Vienna, Austria
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A78
Lipocalins form a protein family with great functional similarities. Specifically, they absorb hydrophobic ligands, often complexed with iron, into their molecular pocket, and thereby act bacteriostatic. Accordingly, human lipocalin-2 (LCN2) is an acute phase protein involved in immune defense. Allergics harbor significantly lower LCN2 levels1, in parallel they suffer from intracellular micronutritional deficiencies, especially of iron2.

To study:
  1. whether the loading of lipocalins may determine why some animal lipocalins act as allergens, and
  2. whether loaded ligands may turn lipocalins tolerogenic.

The lipocalin beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), best known from cow´s milk, acted as allergen only in its empty form3,4. However, BLG complexed with ligands occurred in cow stable dust and contributed to the allergy protective effect of farms5. We developed a lozenge using BLG as a Trojan horse to carry micronutrients to immune cells of allergics. In clinical double-blind placebo-controlled6 and provocation trials in pollen and house dust mite allergics we demonstrated that with the BLG lozenge micronutritional deficiencies can be corrected. This is associated with a significant symptom relief.

We propose that spiking of lipocalins with nutrients, as shown for BLG, is a novel approach exploiting targeted micronutrition to halt the allergy epidemic.

E. Jensen-Jarolim is the inventor on “LCN2 as a tool for allergy diagnostic and therapy” (EP 14150965.3, Year: 01/2014; US 14/204,570) and shareholder of Biomedical Int. R+D GmbH, Vienna, Austria.
Roth-Walter F, Schmutz R, Mothes-Luksch N, et al. Clinical efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy is associated with restoration of steady-state serum lipocalin 2 after SLIT: a pilot study. World Allergy Organ J. 2018;11(1):21. doi:10.1186/s40413-018-0201-8
Petje LM, Jensen SA, Szikora S, et al. Functional iron-deficiency in allergic rhinitis patients correlate with symptom severity and microbial communities not relying on iron. Allergy. 2021;76:2882-2923. doi:10.1111/all.14960
Hufnagl K, Ghosh D, Wagner S, et al. Retinoic acid prevents immunogenicity of milk lipocalin Bos d 5 through binding to its immunodominant T-cell epitope. Scientific Reports. 2018;8(1):1598. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-19883-0
Roth-Walter F, Pacios LF, Gomez-Casado C, et al. The major cow milk allergen Bos d 5 manipulates T-helper cells depending on its load with siderophore-bound iron. PLOS One. 2014;9(8):e104803. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104803
Pali-Schöll I, Bianchini R, Hofstetter G, et al. Secretory protein beta-lactoglobulin cattle stable dust may contribute to the allergy protective farm effect. Clin Transl Allergy. 2022;12(2):e12125. doi:10.1002/clt2.12125
Bartosik T, Jensen SA, Afify SM, et al. Ameliorating Atopy by Compensating Micronutritional Deficiencies in Immune cells: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2022.02.028
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top