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Summary

Exposure to contact allergens in order to produce allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) seems to induce hair cycle/growth, but the mechanism of this remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated this mechanism and found that repeated application of hapten induced production of interleukin (IL)-4 in lymph-node immune cells. In addition, hair growth was induced in mice after the adoptive transfer of T-helper (Th)2 cells that had been purified from mice exposed to repeated cutaneous application of hapten. These findings lead us to speculate that Th2 cells that are repeatedly hapten-sensitized are recruited to hapten-challenged skin areas, and thus stimulate the production of IL-4 in the vicinity of the hair follicles, which influences hair cycle/growth. Our results may provide fundamental insights into the mechanism of contact hypersensitivity-induced hair cycle/growth.