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Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Sep;28 Suppl 4:3-6.

Participation of T lymphocytes in cutaneous allergic reactions to drugs.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Carlos Haya Hospital, Malaga, Spain.


Immunological mechanisms implicated in drug allergic reactions are not yet well understood, but there is 'in vivo' and 'in vitro' evidence that T lymphocytes are involved in these hypersensitivity reactions. The cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) is the skin homing receptor and is involved in targeting a skin-selective memory T lymphocyte to cutaneous sites of chronic inflammation. We have seen that CLA expression is increased in circulating T lymphocytes of patients who develop a drug allergic cutaneous reaction, these cells are activated and their CLA values tend to become normal in parallel with the disappearance of skin symptoms, demonstrating that CD3+ CLA+ cells are involved in the immunological mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of the chronic inflammation process in cutaneous drug reactions.

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