Background and aims Recent studies reveal an important link between the intestinal immune system, microbiota, brain and behaviour. Previously we have shown that food allergy in male mice caused behavioural and neurochemical changes. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a dietary intervention with immunomodulatory short-chain galacto – and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS), Bifidobacterium breve (Bb) and glutamine (Gln) on behavioural impairments in food allergic mice.
Methods Male C3H mice were fed a control, scGOS/lcFOS/Bb, Gln, or scGOS/lcFOS/Bb/Gln (comb) diet shortly after weaning and 2 weeks prior to first sensitisation with whey and cholera toxin (CT), or CT alone. Mice were sensitised for 5 weeks and subsequently orally challenged. Spontaneous alternation was examined in a T maze test 2 days after the last sensitisation and a social interaction test was conducted 1 day after oral challenge. Spontaneous alternation was used to measure exploratory behaviour and spatial memory.
Results Supplementation with scGOS/lcFOS/Bb or Gln partially prevented reduced spontaneous alternation, whereas supplementation with scGOS/lcFOS/Bb/Gln completely normalised alternation. Both scGOS/lcFOS/Bb and Gln partially attenuated reduced social behaviour in food allergic mice. No additional effect of the combination was observed on social behaviour. Supplementation with scGOS/lcFOS/Bb and/or Gln did not reduce allergic sensitisation, measured by whey-specific immunoglobulins.
Conclusions Supplementation with scGOS/lcFOS/Bb or Gln partially prevented food allergy-induced behavioural impairments and the combination normalised impaired alternation, without changing allergic sensitisation. Therefore, it is of interest to further investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with scGOS/lcFOS/Bb and Gln on immune-induced behavioural impairments in infants.