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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2002 Apr;21(4):197-203.

Potential anti-inflammatory treatments against cutaneous sulfur mustard injury using the mouse ear vesicant model.

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  • 1Pharmacology Department, Israel Institute for Biological Research, Ness Ziona, Israel. shlomit@iibr.gov.il


In spite of several decades of research, no effective treatment to skin injuries following exposure to sulfur mustard (HD) has yet been found. In the present study, the mouse ear vesicant model was applied to awake mice in order to evaluate the efficiency of potential anti-inflammatory treatments in preventing HD-induced skin damages. Clinical follow-up and histological evaluation were used to characterize the injuries to the skin and to evaluate the efficiency of the drugs that were applied. Thus, the extent of mouse ear oedema and the histopathological changes following a single application of 0.2 or 1 microL of neat HD for 10 min (representing moderate and severe lesions, respectively), were monitored. Typical HD skin lesions were observed including epithelial and dermal damage. The development of the injury in mouse ears was found to be very similar to that reported in human skin. Screening of post-exposure topical steroids and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) proved that HD-induced inflammation could be diminished significantly as long as the treatment was applied during the early stages following exposure. A combined application of these drugs approved to be particularly effective in reducing inflammation.

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