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J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Jun;127(6):1430-5. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Skin contact irritation conditions the development and severity of allergic contact dermatitis.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, U503, IFR128, BioSciences Lyon-Gerland, Lyon, France.


Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) is a frequent inflammatory skin disease induced by skin contact with low molecular weight chemicals such as haptens endowed with proinflammatory properties. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a frequent complication of ICD and is mediated by hapten-specific T cells primed in lymph nodes by skin emigrating dendritic cells. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between ICD and ACD to 2,4-dinitrofluorobenezene (DNFB) in C57BL/6 and BALB/C mice, which develop a severe and a moderate skin inflammation, respectively. Upon a single skin painting with DNFB, C57BL/6 developed within hours a more severe dose-dependent ICD response as compared to BALB/C mice, which was associated with enhanced upregulation of IL-1beta, IL-6, and IL-10. Skin exposure to a low dose of DNFB resulted, in both strains, in a low ICD that resolved in a few hours. Alternatively, skin painting with either an intermediate or a high DNFB concentration induced an ICD that subsequently gave rise to an ACD reaction whose intensity was proportional to the magnitude of the ICD response and was more severe in C57BL/6 mice than in BALB/C mice. In conclusion, the hapten-induced skin contact irritation conditions the development and the severity of ACD.

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