Effect of prolonged exposure to low antigen concentration for sensitization

F.M. van Och, R.J. Vandebriel, W.H. de Jong, H. van Loveren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Effect of prolonged exposure to low antigen concentration for sensitization.

van Och FM, Vandebriel RJ, De Jong WH, van Loveren H.

Laboratory for Pathology and Immunobiology, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

The local lymph node assay (LLNA) is an assay in mice to identify potential allergens. Compounds that do not induce a stimulation index (SI)>or=3 are not considered sensitizers. Of the chemicals that do, the SI of 3 is used as a benchmark, and indicates the sensitizing potency of a chemical. Compared to the exposure duration of the LLNA (3 days), real life exposure often lasts for months or years. We therefore investigated whether prolonged exposure to sensitizers at concentrations that do not induce a SI>or=3 in the LLNA, were able to surpass this threshold. Mice were treated for 2 months at 7-day intervals with a range of concentrations of the known allergens ethyl-p-aminobenzoate (benzocaine, BENZ), 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), and tetramethyl thiuram disulfide (TMTD). Both proliferative activity and cytokine production were established at day 60. Neither BENZ nor TMTD showed a significant increase in the proliferation rate compared to vehicle controls. Only DNCB at concentrations originally above the EC(3) a significant increase in proliferation was seen after prolonged exposure. No significant effect on IFN-gamma and IL-4 production was observed for all three compounds compared. These findings indicate that for classification of sensitizers the shorter exposure period employed in the standard LLNA is sufficient, and longer periods of exposure have no bearing on this classification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

Cite this