Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the principal component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. The prior oral administration of LPS attenuates inflammatory responses, such as intestinal injury and atopic dermatitis, in mouse models; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we examined the effect of topical LPS application on allergic contact dermatitis and its mechanism of action using a murine contact hypersensitivity (CHS) model. Prolonged LPS application to the skin significantly suppressed 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced CHS. LPS application to the skin also reduced the phagocytosis of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran by Langerhans and dendritic cells. Cutaneous cell migration into the skin-draining lymph nodes (LNs) induced by FITC painting was reduced by LPS application. During the CHS response, DNFB application induced T-cell proliferation and inflammatory cytokine production in skin-draining LNs, whereas prolonged LPS application inhibited DNFB-induced T-cell growth and interferon gamma production, indicating suppression of DNFB-induced sensitization. These results suggest that prolonged LPS application suppressed DNFB-induced sensitization and subsequently CHS response. Our findings imply that topical application of LPS may prevent allergic dermatitis such as CHS.
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