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Epicutaneous administration of hapten through patch application augments TH2 responses which can downregulate the elicitation of murine contact hypersensitivity

Authors


Lin Graduate Institute of Immunology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Jen Ai Road, 1st Section, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Abstract

Background and objective

Allergic contact dermatitis and its animal model, contact hypersensitivity (CHS), have long been documented as type 1 T-cell-predominant immune responses. Although type 1/type 2 T-cell deviation has been repeatedly demonstrated to play an important role in many human diseases and their animal models, the potential of tilting type 1/type 2 T-cell differentiation of CHS by modulating the manner of administration and dosage of hapten remains unexplored. This study examined the effect of these two factors on type 1/type 2 balance of CHS.

Methods

ELISA methods for detection of isotypes of hapten-specific antibodies and cytokine profiles of in vitro reactivation culture as well as ear-swelling assay were used to indicate type 1 or type 2 T-cell immune responses.

Results

In this paper, it was demonstrated that dosage of hapten has no effect on the type 1/type 2 T-cell balance of CHS, whereas epicutaneous administration of hapten through patch application could tilt the type 1/type 2 balance to decrease type 1 and to augment type 2 T-cell responses. Patch application-induced modulation is still effective in ever-sensitized mice and the augmented type 2 T-cell responses are persistent and increase progressively in strength after repeated immunizations. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the augmented type 2 T-cell response can downregulate the elicitation of CHS. The major mediating cells of the enhanced type 2 T-cell responses were determined to be CD4+ T cells (TH2 cells).

Conclusions

These data show that epicutaneous administration of hapten through patch application augments TH2 response which can downregulate the elicitation of murine CHS. This exploration may contribute to the understanding of regulatory mechanisms involved in contact allergy.

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