Challenge assay in vitro using lymphocyte blastogenesis for the contact hypersensitivity assay
Review articleOpen access

AbstractTo confirm positivity in routine guinea pig studies, contact allergenicity was investigated by a challenge assay in vitro using a co-culture of autologous lymphocytes passed through a nylon-wool column and antigen-presenting cells (APCs) modified with or without antigen. Proliferation of the lymphocytes primed with ovalbumin and/or 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene was antigen specific and dependent on the presence of APCs (peripheral blood monocytes, splenic macrophages and macrophages induced by liquid paraffin). For another nine haptens, primed lymphocytes proliferated significantly more than control lymphocytes; the stimulation index (SI; ratio between [3H]methylthymidine ([3H]TdR) incorporation of lymphocytes with antigen-modified APCs and [3H]TdR incorporation of lymphocytes with APCs not modified by antigen) was 1.6–4.8 in sensitized animals whereas it was about 1.0 in control animals. Sodium dodecyl sulfate did not cause lymphocyte proliferation. The SI value in vitro was correlated with both the positive rate in vivo (r = 0.736) and the mean response score in vivo (r = 0.645). Thus, it was possible to confirm that positivity in routine experiments was a true sign of allergy. A combination of this assay and short-term animal studies would provide an efficient assessment of the allergic potential of chemicals.

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