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J Immunol. 2003 Aug 1;171(3):1164-71.

IL-18 binding protein protects against contact hypersensitivity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology, Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Geneva, Switzerland. Thomas.Plitz@serono.com


Allergic contact dermatitis, the clinical manifestation of contact hypersensitivity, is one of the most common disorders of the skin. It is elicited upon multiple cutaneous re-exposure of sensitized individuals to the sensitizing agent. In this study, we demonstrate that using IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) to neutralize IL-18 significantly reduced clinical symptoms in a murine model of contact hypersensitivity. Furthermore, IL-18BP alleviated the relapses during established disease, as indicated by significant protection during re-exposure of mice that had previously undergone a contact hypersensitivity response without treatment. Although edema was not influenced, IL-18BP reduced the number of T cells homing to sites of inflammation, resulting in diminished local production of IFN-gamma. Thus, by preventing the accumulation of effector T cells to the target tissue, IL-18BP appears to be a potent protective mediator to counter skin inflammation during contact hypersensitivity. Taken together with the evidence that IL-18 is present in tissue samples of the human disease, our data reinforces IL-18BP as a candidate for this therapeutic indication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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