Introduction: Traditionally, allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) has been associated with the activity of Th1 lymphocytes that secrete interferon gamma. Recent evidence indicates that other cells, e.g. Th2 or Tc2 may be the key effectors of ACD.
Aims: To assess the influence of nickel-specific IFN-gamma secretion (marker of Th1 and Tc1 activity) and IL-5 secretion (Th2 and Tc2) on the clinical outcome (patch test score) in nickel-allergic patients.
Material and methods: 40 women with suspicion of ACD were involved, aged from 14 to 54 (median 31.5) years. They were patch tested with NiSO4. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from study participants were cultured and analysed for IFN-gamma and IL-5 secretion in response to NiSO4. A series of statistical models (classical logit or cloglog link function) were used.
Results: Nickel-specific IL-5 secretion by PBMC was shown to determine significantly the intensity of patch test reaction (p=0.05), with no significant effect of IFN-gamma. In overall, an increase in nickel-specific IL-5 secretion by 10 pg/ml is associated with a 10-20% increase (depending on statistical model) in the odds ratio of the patient to have a higher patch test score.
Conclusions: These observations support the assumption that cells secreting IL-5 (e.g. Th2, Tc2) play a role in the pathogenesis of ACD, which is more important than previously suspected.
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Document created: 17 October 2008, last updated: 25 November 2021.