Allergy, Insulin and Brain Function

Chronic airway-induced allergy in mice modifies gene expression in the brain toward insulin resistance and inflammatory responses

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Chronic systemic inflammation affects brain functionality and may negatively influence the progression of neurodegenerative disorders.

Allergy is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting more than 20% of the Western population. Little is known regarding the influence of allergy on brain functions. The aim of the present study was to obtain a global overview of the genes that drive the effects of peripheral inflammation associated with chronic airway-induced allergy in the brain.


Airway allergy was induced in C57B/6J mice using ovalbumin as the allergen. Microarray analysis was performed in the hippocampus and frontal cortex in association with Affymetrix. For the data analysis, principal component analysis and orthogonal to latent structures discriminant analysis followed by pathway analysis were used. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and protein analysis by Western blotting were performed for the validation of microarray results.


Microarray analysis showed low-grade changes in gene expression in the brain induced by airway-associated allergy.

Changes in expression were observed for genes involved in

antigen processing and presentation,

cytokine–cytokine interaction,

Toll-like receptor and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, as determined by pathway analysis.

We confirmed a reduction of insulin-degrading enzyme at the protein level and a decrease in insulin receptor phosphorylation in the brains of allergic mice.

Other allergy-induced gene expression changes were confirmed by qPCR, including increased levels of tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 23 and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein.


Airway-associated allergy induces changes in brain gene expression toward induction of insulin resistance and inflammatory responses with potential implications for neurodegenerative disorders.


Further Readings of Interest

Comorbidity of allergic and autoimmune diseases in patients with autism spectrum disorder: A nationwide population-based study

Previous clinical and genetic studies have suggested autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is associated with immunological abnormalities involving cytokines, immunoglobulins, inflammation, and cellular immunity, but epidemiological reports are still limited.

Patients with ASDs were identified in the National Health Insurance Database from 1996 to 2010, and compared with age and gender-matched controls (1:4) in an investigation of the association between ASDs and allergic/autoimmune diseases.

A total of 1596 patients with ASDs were identified, and were found to have a significantly higher prevalence of allergic and autoimmune diseases than the control group.

Patients with ASDs had increased risks of

asthma (OR = 1.74, 95%CI = 1.51–1.99),

allergic rhinitis (OR = 1.70, 95%CI = 1.51–1.91),

atopic dermatitis (OR = 1.52, 95%CI = 1.30–1.78),

urticaria (OR = 1.38, 95%CI = 1.12–1.69)

and type 1 diabetes (OR = 4.00, 95%CI = 1.00–16.00),

and a trend toward increasing comorbidity with Crohn’s disease (OR = 1.46, 95%CI = 0.90–2.35).

This entry was posted in Allergy, Asthma, Autism, co-morbid, Environment, Epigenetics, Immune System, Inflammation, Neurology, Physiology, Schizophrenia, Treatment. Bookmark the permalink.

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