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Immunol Lett. 2002 Oct 21;84(1):49-55.

Expression of cytokine mRNAs in mice cutaneously exposed to formaldehyde.

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Department of Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan.


In this study, we have investigated the expression of cytokine mRNAs in mice cutaneously exposed to formaldehyde using semiquantitative RT-PCR. We show that formaldehyde induced the long-lasting expression of IL-4 and IFN-gamma mRNAs and the transient expression of IL-13 mRNA in mouse spleen and draining lymph nodes. The transient increases in IL-2, IL-15, IL-12p40, IL-15 and IL-18 mRNAs, but long-lasting IL-15 mRNA were only seen in the formaldehyde-exposed mouse spleen. Moreover, a weak contact hypersensitivity (CH) and the significant increases in IL-4 and IFN-gamma mRNAs were detected in the ear skin of formaldehyde-cutaneously exposed mice when rechallenged mouse ears. Furthermore, CH as measured by mouse ear swelling response was positively correlated with IL-4 and IFN-gamma mRNA levels in the challenged ears. This study thus suggests that the induction of Th1 and Th2 cytokine mRNAs, particularly IL-4 and IFN-gamma, are a common immunological feature caused by contact allergens irrespective of strong or weak contact allergens. The analysis of IL-4 and IFN-gamma mRNAs may be useful markers in establishing the novel test for predicting chemical sensitizing potentials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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