Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Joseph Dolence

Committee Members

Kim Carlson, Nicholas J Hobbs, Hui Liew


peanut allergy;sensitization;sex hormones


Peanut (PN) allergy is a major public health concern. Prevalence of PN allergy has been on the rise for decades due to poor prevention information and a lack of knowledge about the allergic mechanism. Recent research has brought clarity about how individuals become sensitized with routes known through the skin, as well as the airway. Factors influence the allergic immune response, however, based on a known sex difference in allergic asthma and food allergy demographics showing a sex difference, this thesis work hypothesized that a sex difference would exist in PN allergy. This study utilized a 4-week inhalation mouse model of PN allergy that drives the production of PN-specific antibodies and displays systemic anaphylaxis following PN challenge. Wildtype (WT) male, female, and ARTfm (androgen receptor deficient) male, and hormone manipulated males and females were examined using this model to document sex differences in PN allergy. Androgen receptor (AR) use is critical in regulating PN-specific antibody levels. ARTfm males have a higher antibody response and much worse anaphylactic response following PN challenge than WT males. WT males also have a much less severe anaphylactic response compared to ARTfm and female mice. Additionally, androgen hormone manipulation alters the allergic immune response. Taken together, analysis of WT, AR-deficient, and hormone manipulated mice strongly suggests that sex hormones regulate allergic responses to PN, and AR use is critical for regulating these responses.



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