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A mouse model of fenugreek allergy


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is widely used in Indian-style spiced foods. Some cases of allergic reactions to fenugreek have been reported, and a Norwegian study found cross-reactivity of fenugreek in peanut allergic individuals. Thus, we wanted to develop a mouse model of fenugreek allergy.


Female C3H/HeJ mice were gavaged at days 0, 1, 2, 7, and 21 with fenugreek in doses ranging from 0.1 mg to 10 mg. Cholera toxin (CT) was used as an adjuvant (10 µg/mouse). The mice were euthanized on day 28, and sera were analysed for fenugreek-specific IgE using the heterologous passive cutaneous anaphylaxis assay. Based on this dose-response experiment, twenty four mice were gavaged with the optimal dose of fenugreek (4.2 mg) and CT at days 0, 1, 2, 7, 21 and 28. Eight mice were gavaged with CT only and 8 mice were not treated. At day 35 all mice received a large dose of fenugreek (25.0 mg) and clinical reactions were observed.


We found the optimal dose that would elicit the strongest IgE response to be 4.24 mg fenugreek. Provocation with fenugreek in immunised animals resulted in clinical reactions like scratching and rubbing around the nose and head, puffiness around the eyes and mouth as well as laboured respiration.


We have established a mouse model of fenugreek allergy to be used in further studies of primary fenugreek allergy and in cross-reactions with other legumes.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vinje, N.E., Namork, E. & Lovik, M. A mouse model of fenugreek allergy. Clin Transl Allergy 1 (Suppl 1), P48 (2011).

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