Epidermal Cytokines and the Induction of Allergic and Non-Allergic Contact Dermatitis

  • Ian Kimber
  • Rebecca J. Dearman
  • Marie Cumberbatch
Part of the Archives of Toxicology book series (TOXICOLOGY, volume 19)


The term contact dermatitis describes the local cutaneous inflammatory reaction provoked by skin exposure to certain chemicals. Some materials have the potential directly to induce irritant reactions at the site of contact. Alternatively, the appearance of contact dermatitis may reflect an allergic reaction. Following primary exposure of susceptible individuals to a contact allergen an immune response is initiated that results in long-lived allergic sensitization. If the sensitized individual is exposed subsequently to the same chemical allergen then a more aggressive secondary immune response is elicited that results in the manifestation of allergic contact dermatitis. Clearly some chemicals are able to cause both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis; the operational distinction being that such agents are likely to induce allergic reactions in sensitized individuals at concentrations below those that are necessary for the development of irritant responses in individuals who are not sensitized. The purpose of this article is to consider the roles epidermal cytokines play in the induction of contact dermatitis, and in particular their influence on the behaviour of epidermal Langerhans cells and immunological processes.


Contact Dermatitis Drain Lymph Node Allergic Contact Dermatitis Contact Hypersensitivity Cutaneous Immune Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Kimber
    • 1
  • Rebecca J. Dearman
    • 1
  • Marie Cumberbatch
    • 1
  1. 1.Zeneca Central Toxicology LaboratoryCheshireUK

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