Critical features of an in vitro intestinal absorption model to study the first key aspects underlying food allergen sensitization

Wieneke Dijk, Caterina Villa, Sara Benedé, Emilia Vassilopoulou, Isabel Mafra, María Garrido-Arandia, Mónica Martínez Blanco, Gregory Bouchaud, Tamara Hoppenbrouwers, Simona Lucia Bavaro, Linda Giblin, Karen Knipping, Ana Maria Castro, Susana Delgado, Joana Costa, Shanna Bastiaan-Net*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


New types of protein sources will enter our diet in a near future, reinforcing the need for a straightforward in vitro (cell-based) screening model to test and predict the safety of these novel proteins, in particular their potential risk for de novo allergic sensitization. The Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) for allergen sensitization describes the current knowledge of key events underlying the complex cellular interactions that proceed allergic food sensitization. Currently, there is no consensus on the in vitro model to study the intestinal translocation of proteins as well as the epithelial activation, which comprise the first molecular initiation events (ME1-3) and the first key event of the AOP, respectively. As members of INFOGEST, we have highlighted several critical features that should be considered for any proposed in vitro model to study epithelial protein transport in the context of allergic sensitization. In addition, we defined which intestinal cell types are indispensable in a consensus model of the first steps of the AOP, and which cell types are optional or desired when there is the possibility to create a more complex cell model. A model of these first key aspects of the AOP can be used to study the gut epithelial translocation behavior of known hypo- and hyperallergens, juxtaposed to the transport behavior of novel proteins as a first screen for risk management of dietary proteins. Indeed, this disquisition forms a basis for the development of a future consensus model of the allergic sensitization cascade, comprising also the other key events (KE2-5).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-1005
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number2
Early online date22 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • allergen transport
  • cell culture
  • food allergy
  • intestine
  • novel proteins


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