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J Invest Dermatol. 2000 Mar;114(3):541-4.

Regulation of cutaneous allergic reaction by odorant inhalation.

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  • 1Life Science Research Center, Shiseido, Yokohama, Japan.


Olfactory stimuli modulate emotional conditions and the whole body immune system. Effects of odorant inhalation on cutaneous immune reaction were examined. Contact hypersensitivity to 2,4, 6-trinitrochlorobenzene was elicited in C57BL/6 mice. The reaction was suppressed at both the induction and elicitation phases by exposure to an odorant, citralva. Topical application of citralva or lyral/lilial did not affect the reaction. The suppressive effect of citralva was more potent than that of another odorant, lyral/lilial. Citralva decreased the number of epidermal Langerhans cells, whereas lyral/lilial had a weak effect. Citralva but not lyral/lilial induced plasma corticosterone. Glucocorticoid receptor antagonist abrogated the suppressive effect of citralva on contact hypersensitivity. Serum interleukin-12 was downregulated by exposure to citralva or lyral/lilial. These data demonstrate that olfactory stimuli regulate the cutaneous immune system.

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