• rechallenge;
  • guinea pig maximization test;
  • GPMT;
  • dose-response;
  • false-positive;
  • sensitization;
  • contact allergy

The guinea pig maximization test (GPMT) has played a primary rôle in the evaluation the evaluation of potential skin contact sensitizers for 25 years. In the OECD Guideline 406 from 1993, it is specifically suggested that equivocal results from the initial challenge in the GPMT should he evaluated further with a repeated challenge. However, there exist few published rechallenge data and the guideline does not describe how rechallenge data should be interpreted. In this paper, we have used examples from published results to illustrate both the positive value and the limitations of repeated challenges, including cross challenge. Testing with modified concentrations may also help to indicate whether or not the response is allergic in nature, particularly where there has been a low level of skin reaction observed in shamtreated controls, or where a low level of skin reaction is the dominant response in the test animals. In conclusion, the data presented demonstrate that, as a tool for the investigation of skin sensitizing potential, the GPMT can benefit from an experienced scientific evaluation of rechallenge data, but that this information should not be treated in a mechanistic fashion.