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Toxicology. 2010 Feb 28;269(1):73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2010.01.008. Epub 2010 Jan 21.

Allergic inflammation in the upper respiratory tract of the rat upon repeated inhalation exposure to the contact allergen dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB).

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TNO Quality of Life, Department Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Zeist, The Netherlands.


Previously, the contact allergen dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) was identified as a sensitizer by inhalation in BALB/c mice; in addition, DNCB induced a lymphocytic infiltrate in the larynx of dermally sensitized Th1-prone Wistar rats upon a single inhalation challenge. In the present study, repeated inhalation exposures to DNCB were investigated using the same protocol as the single-challenge study: female Wistar rats were dermally sensitized with DNCB and subsequently challenged by inhalation exposure to 7 or 15 mg/m(3) DNCB twice a week for 4 weeks. Allergy-related apnoeic breathing was not observed. DNCB-specific IgG antibodies were found in the serum and--predominantly lymphocytic--inflammations were found in the nasal tissues and larynx. Similar effects were observed in animals repeatedly exposed by inhalation without previous dermal contact, indicating sensitization by inhalation. The inflammation may be the upper respiratory tract analogue of hypersensitivity pneumonitis/allergic alveolitis. Possible progression of the airway inflammation upon long-term exposure should be investigated to support or dismiss discrimination between contact and respiratory allergens in relation to respiratory allergy.

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