Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is an important occupational and environmental disease caused by topical exposure to chemical allergens. In the EU, it has been calculated that 4% of animals are used in toxicity test for the assessment of skin sensitization . To come a complete replacement of animals, evaluation of relative skin sensitization potency is necessary. The identification of mechanisms influencing allergen potency requires a better understanding of molecular events that trigger cell activation. Therefore, (i) the effects of selected allergens on surface markers expression and cytokines release in contact allergen-induced cell activation were assessed, and (ii) the role of Protein Kinase C (PKC) beta activation in contact allergen-induced cell activation was investigated. The human pro-myelocytic cell line THP-1 was used as experimental model surrogate of dendritic cells. Cells were exposed to select contact allergens of different potency and cell surface marker expression (CD80, CD86, HLA-DR) was determined by flow cytometry analysis. Cytokines production (IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-18) was evaluated with specific sandwich ELISA. The effective contribution of PKC beta in chemical allergen-induced cell activation was assessed by Western Blot analysis (PKC beta activation) and using a specific PKC beta inhibitor (PKC beta pseudosubstrate). In addition, to investigate if contact allergens are able to induce indeed dendritic cells (DCs) maturation, THP-1 cells were differentiated to immature DC and then exposed to contact allergen of different potency. Overall, our finding provides insights into the process of sensitization and strength of cell activation associated with allergens of different potency. Results obtained suggest that contact allergens of different potency are able to induce a different degree of activation of dendritic cells maturation involved in the process of ACD.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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