Human relevance of an in vitro gene signature in HaCaT for skin sensitization

Jochem W. van der Veen*, Henny Hodemaekers, Astrid A. Reus, Wilfred J. M. Maas, Henk van Loveren, Janine Ezendam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The skin sensitizing potential of chemicals is mainly assessed using animal methods, such as the murine local lymph node assay. Recently, an in vitro assay based on a gene expression signature in the HaCaT keratinocyte cell line was proposed as an alternative to these animal methods. Here, the human relevance of this gene signature is assessed through exposure of freshly isolated human skin to the chemical allergens dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and diphenylcyclopropenone (DCP). In human skin, the gene signature shows similar direction of regulation as was previously observed in vitro, suggesting that the molecular processes that drive expression of these genes are similar between the HaCaT cell line and freshly isolated skin, providing evidence for the human relevance of the gene signature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-84
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Skin sensitization
  • Human relevance
  • HaCaT
  • Gene signature

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