Most allergic disease studies have focused on postnatal chemical or microbial exposure. Recent studies have indicated that allergic diseases are associated with the immunological interaction between the mother and her offspring, but the relevant mechanisms are unclear. The aim of this study was to assess whether maternal exposure to allergens during pregnancy could affect allergic rhinitis (AR) in the offspring. Compared with offspring of naïve mothers, offspring of ovalbumin (OVA)-exposed mothers exhibited a significant reduction in AR clinical symptoms and levels of histamine, IgE, T helper type-2(Th2) cytokines, thymic stromal lymphopoietin, cyclooxygenase-2, chemokines, infiltration of inflammatory cell, and activity of caspase-1. Interestingly, we observed that offspring of OVA-exposed mothers regulated OVA-induced Th2 responses by inducing autophagy in mast cells. Our data demonstrated that maternal exposure to OVA during pregnancy decreased allergic sensitivity in offspring, suggesting that the vertical transmission of maternal immune responses may be involved. These findings have important implications in the regulation of AR. Furthermore, we propose that the autophagy of mast cells may be a potential target for AR prevention or treatment.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.