In Vitro Approaches to the Identification and Characterization of Skin Sensitizers

St John's Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK.
Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology (Impact Factor: 1.12). 02/2007; 26(4):359-73. DOI: 10.1080/15569520701622993
Source: PubMed


Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is to a considerable extent a preventable disease. Limitation of ACD can be achieved by correct detection of skin sensitizers, characterization of potency, understanding of human skin exposure, and the application of adequate risk assessment and management strategies. A range of methods now exist that have been proven to be very accurate in terms of the predictive identification of chemicals that possess skin sensitizing properties. In addition, certain methods, notably the local lymph node assay (LLNA), also deliver valuable information of the relative potency of identified sensitizers. Great use can be made of this potency information in the application of quantitative risk assessments (although of course such assessments depend also on the availability of accurate data on human skin exposure). However, the challenge now to be faced is how to obtain the same quality of information on the potency of skin sensitizing chemicals using solely in vitro and in silico methods. With the forthcoming elimination of in vivo tests, the opportunities being exploited for in vitro test development focus on key elements of the sensitization process, such as peptide binding and dendritic cell activation. What has to then be addressed is how information from such in vitro assays is integrated, together with data on epidermal bioavailability, to deliver an assessment of the allergen potency.

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    • "They must be able to predict the complex interaction of the chemical with all aspects of the immune response. Numerous methods are being developed for this purpose and are based on specific mechanistic steps that occur during skin sensitization including but not limited to: protein/peptide binding and haptenization, activation of keratinocytes and DC, and T-cell proliferation [73]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic contact dermatitis is the second most commonly reported occupational illness, accounting for 10% to 15% of all occupational diseases. This highlights the importance of developing rapid and sensitive methods for hazard identification of chemical sensitizers. The murine local lymph node assay (LLNA) was developed and validated for the identification of low molecular weight sensitizing chemicals. It provides several benefits over other tests for sensitization because it provides a quantitative endpoint, dose-responsive data, and allows for prediction of potency. However, there are also several concerns with this assay including: levels of false positive responses, variability due to vehicle, and predictivity. This report serves as a concise review which briefly summarizes the progress, advances and limitations of the assay over the last decade.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Allergy
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    • "The measurement of these phenotypical and functional DC modifications was central to the development of several in vitro test protocols for the detection of sensitizers [12], [13], [14]. Different approaches based on peripheral blood monocyte derived DCs (PBMDCs) or DC-like cell lines such as THP-1, U937 and MUTZ-3 are currently being evaluated and/or validated [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Photoactivation and binding of photoactive chemicals to proteins is a known prerequisite for the formation of immunogenic photoantigens and the induction of photoallergy. The intensive use of products and the availability of new chemicals, along with an increasing exposure to sun light contribute to the risk of photosensitizing adverse reactions. Dendritic cells (DC) play a pivotal role in the induction of allergic contact dermatitis. Human peripheral blood monocyte derived dendritic cells (PBMDC) were thus perceived as an obvious choice for the development of a novel in vitro photosensitization assay using the modulation of cell surface protein expression in response to photosensitizing agents. In this new protocol, known chemicals with photosensitizing, allergenic or non-allergenic potential were pre-incubated with PBMDCs prior to UVA irradiation (1 J/cm(2)). Following a 48 h incubation, the expression of the cell surface molecules CD86, HLA-DR and CD83 was measured by flow cytometry. All tested photosensitizers induced a significant and dose-dependent increase of CD86 expression after irradiation compared to non-irradiated controls. Moreover, the phototoxicity of the chemicals could also be determined. In contrast, (i) CD86 expression was not affected by the chosen irradiation conditions, (ii) increased CD86 expression induced by allergens was independent of irradiation and (iii) no PBMDC activation was observed with the non-allergenic control. The assay proposed here for the evaluation of the photoallergenic potential of chemicals includes the assessment of their allergenic, phototoxic and toxic potential in a single and robust test system and is filling a gap in the in vitro photoallergenicity test battery.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Assays based on primary cells require specific cell sources that might represent a limiting factor, especially in the case of cord blood based assays. Donor to donor variability was also noted as a critical point (Aiba et al., 1997; Basketter and Maxwell, 2007) and many research groups directed their efforts towards the 0887-2333/$ -see front matter Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. "
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed T-cell mediated allergic response associated with relevant social and economic impacts. Animal experiments (e.g. the local lymph node assay) are still supplying most of the data used to assess the sensitization potential of new chemicals. However, the 7th amendment to the EU Cosmetic Directive will introduce a testing ban for cosmetic ingredients after 2013. In vitro alternative methods are thus being actively developed. Although promising results have been obtained with cell lines, their reduced functionality and inherent genomic instability led us to reinvestigate the use of peripheral blood monocyte-derived dendritic cells (PBMDCs) for the establishment of a reliable in vitro sensitization test. To solve the issues associated with the use of primary cells, the culture and exposure conditions (cytokine concentrations, incubation time, readout, pooled vs. single donors and cytotoxicity) were re-assessed and optimized. Here we propose a stable and reproducible protocol based on PBMDCs. This should allow a wider acceptance of PBMDCs as a reliable test system for the detection of human skin sensitizers and the inclusion of this protocol in an integrated testing strategy.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Toxicology in Vitro
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