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Skin Pharmacol. 1991;4(4):262-71.

Mouse skin inflammation induced by multiple topical applications of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Buffalo, N.Y.


It is well known that applications of a single dose of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) to mouse ears induces an acute inflammatory reaction consisting of erythema, edema and polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) infiltration. We report here that multiple topical applications of TPA to mouse ears produce a prolonged inflammatory reaction characterized by increases in ear weight, inflammatory cell infiltration and epidermal hyperplasia. TPA was applied 5 times over 10 days to mouse ears. Epidermal thickness and PMN infiltration (myeloperoxidase content) increased 3- and 160-fold, respectively, by day 3 and remained elevated over control values throughout the test period. Ear weight was elevated from day 1 and remained high. Hydrocortisone 17-valerate and betamethasone dipropionate significantly reduced all three parameters of inflammation. Indomethacin and two other cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors, and an antihistamine had little or no effect on any of the parameters. This chronic skin inflammation model may be more relevant for evaluating anti-inflammatory compounds than the acute TPA model because the test compounds are applied after the inflammatory lesion is established, which mirrors the use of clinical anti-inflammatory drugs. Also this model may be more selective than the acute TPA model for compounds which affect leukotriene production since other pharmacological agents which are active in the acute model are not active in the multiple-application model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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