Nickel-induced cytokine production from mononuclear cells in nickel-sensitive individuals and controls
Cytokine profiles in nickel-sensitive individuals with nickel allergy-related hand eczema before and after nickel challenge
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Abstract Exposure to nickel is a major cause of allergic contact dermatitis which is considered to be an inflammatory response induced by antigen-specific T cells. Here we describe the in vitro analysis of the nickel-specific T-cell-derived cytokine response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 35 nickel-allergic and 30 non-nickel-allergic individuals. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with 10–4 and 10–5 mol/l NiSO4 for 6 days and then additionally with ionomycin and phorbol myristate acetate for 24 h. Culture supernatants were analysed for interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by quantitative ELISA. The analysis showed that the synthesis of IL-4 and IL-5 but not of IFN-γ or TNF-α was significantly higher in the nickel-allergic individuals. The finding of preferential synthesis of Th2 cytokines was somewhat of a surprise, since previous studies have suggested a Th1 response in nickel-mediated allergic contact dermatitis. Subsequently, the nickel-allergic individuals were randomized to experimental exposure to nickel or vehicle in a double-blind design. A daily 10-min exposure of one finger to 10 ppm nickel solution for 1 week followed by 100 ppm for an additional week evoked a clinical response of hand eczema in the nickel-exposed group. Blood samples were drawn on days 7 and 14 after the start of this exposure to occupationally relevant concentrations of nickel. No statistically significant differences were observed in the nickel-induced in vitro cytokine response during the exposure period. Our results indicate the possibility that IL-4 and IL-5 are involved in the pathogenesis of nickel-mediated contact dermatitis.
Key words Nickel Allergic contact dermatitis T cells IL-4 IL-5
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000