Contact photoallergy is a cell-mediated immunologic reaction to chemicals which histologically and mechanistically resembles contact hypersensitivity. The critical factor differentiating these two reactions is that the chemicals that produce contact photoallergy reactions require activation by ultraviolet light in order to induce or elicit the reaction. The aim of our research is to refine a mouse model for assessment of the photoallergic potential of chemicals and to develop an understanding of the factors which influence contact photoallergy. The photoallergic potential of test chemicals is assayed in cyclophosphamide treated BALB/c mice by application of the photoallergen to clipped backs for induction and to the ears for challenge. Mice are not anesthetized for either induction or challenge. Using this mouse photoallergy model, various factors that influence the induction of photoallergy were examined. Specifically, we have studied the effects of test material dose, compound application/irradiation kinetics, and ultraviolet dose and spectrum on the induction of contact photoallergy. To date, eight known human photoallergens have been tested and successfully detected, including musk ambrette, 6-methylcoumarin, and tetrachlorosalicylanilide. We feel that this mouse ear swelling photoallergy model offers potential as a model for predictive photoallergy testing. In addition, we have recently initiated in vitro studies to examine the underlying mechanisms of photoallergy using murine Langerhans cell enriched epidermal cells and lymphocytes from sensitized mice. Information gained from these in vitro studies will enhance our ability to predict a compounds photoallergic potential.
KeywordsCyclophosphamide Gentamicin Dermatitis Coumarin Chlorpromazine
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