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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2018;81(17):830-843. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2018.1494474. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

IL-1α and IL-1β as alternative biomarkers for risk assessment and the prediction of skin sensitization potency.

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a Division of Toxicology, College of Pharmacy , Sungkyunkwan University , Suwon , Gyeonggi-do , South Korea.
b College of Pharmacy , Dankook University , Cheonan , Chungnam , South Korea.
c Lung Cancer Branch , Research Institute, National Cancer Center , Goyang , Gyeonggi-do , South Korea.
d McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment,University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Potential biomarkers of skin sensitization in RAW264.7 mouse macrophages were investigated as alternatives to animal experiments and risk assessment. The concentrations that resulted in a cell viability of 90% (CV90) and 75% (CV75) were calculated by using a water-soluble tetrazolium salt (WST)-1 assay and used to analyze the skin sensitization potency of 23 experimental materials under equivalent treatment conditions. In addition, the expression of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-31, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) was analyzed utilizing Western blotting. In the cell viability analysis, skin sensitizers were generally more cytotoxic and exhibited increased skin sensitization potency. However, nonsensitizers did not show any marked cytotoxic tendency. Biomarker analysis demonstrated that IL-1α, IL-1β, and the combination of IL-1α and IL-1β (IL-1α + IL-1β) predicted reliably skin sensitization potential (1) sensitivities of 94.4%, 83.3%, and 83.3%, specificities of 100%, 100%, and 100%, and (2) accuracies of 95.7%, 87%, and 87%, respectively. These observations correlated most reliably as indicators for skin sensitization potency. Data suggest that IL-1α and IL-1β may serve as potential biomarkers for skin sensitization and provide an alternative method to animal experiments for prediction of skin sensitization potency and risk assessment.


IL-1α; IL-1β; biomarker; risk assessment; skin sensitization

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