Gene expression in nasal lavage from hairdressers exposed to persulphate

  • Lena S. Jönsson
  • Karin Broberg
  • Karin Paulsson
  • Kerstin Kronholm Diab
  • Jørn Nielsen
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-009-0415-8

Cite this article as:
Jönsson, L.S., Broberg, K., Paulsson, K. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2009) 82: 1261. doi:10.1007/s00420-009-0415-8
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Abstract

Objectives

Many hairdressers experience work-related symptoms from the airways caused by bleaching powder. This contains persulphates, which could be irritating to the mucous membrane and also may evoke an allergic reaction. However, specific IgE antibodies are difficult to detect. We found earlier that hairdressers with work-related bleaching powder-associated nasal symptoms reacted to persulphate, but that atopics also did and that the mechanism appeared to be similar in the two groups. In this study, we analysed gene expression of cytokines in the nose in order to further investigate the mechanism for work-related bleaching powder-associated nasal symptoms.

Methods

The study subjects belonged to either hairdressers with work-related bleaching powder-associated nasal symptoms (S; n = 6), hairdressers without work-related bleaching powder-associated symptoms (WS; n = 7) or atopics (A; n = 6). Nasal lavage was performed before and during (up to 4 h after the last challenge) provocation with potassium persulphate. Expression of two genes involved in allergic inflammation [interleukin 5 (IL5) and IL13] and one involved in cell-mediated immunity (interferon-gamma; IFNG) were analysed in nasal lavage with quantitative PCR.

Results

The change of IL5 in the S group differed when compared to the WS group (P = 0.0051), in the A group when compared to the WS group (P = 0.014), but not in the S group when compared to the A group (P = 0.82). The change of IL13 in the A group differed when compared to the S (P = 0.041) and WS (P = 0.014) groups, but no difference was noticed between the S and WS groups (P = 0.30). The relative level of IFNG increased from before challenge to during challenge in the S group (P = 0.031).

Conclusions

Symptomatic hairdressers showed increased expression of IL5 and IFNG, but not IL13, during challenge. Hairdressers without work-related bleaching powder-associated nasal symptoms showed no markedly changed reaction. Atopics showed increased expression of IL5 and IL13. Thus, this may indicate a difference in the mechanism of symptoms between symptomatic hairdressers and atopics. However, due to the low number of participants, further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism for persulphate-associated nasal symptoms.

Keywords

Cytokines Gene expression Interferon Interleukin Persulphate 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lena S. Jönsson
    • 1
  • Karin Broberg
    • 1
  • Karin Paulsson
    • 1
  • Kerstin Kronholm Diab
    • 1
  • Jørn Nielsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Laboratory MedicineLund University HospitalLundSweden

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