T lymphocyte dynamics in methylisothiazolinone-allergic patients

Amy Popple, Jason Williams, Gavin Maxwell, Nichola Gellatly, Rebecca J Dearman, Ian Kimber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    BACKGROUND: Methylisothiazolinone (MI), a preservative that is commonly used in personal care products, is now recognized as an important contact allergen in both cosmetic and occupational settings.

    OBJECTIVES: To analyse T lymphocyte responses to MI, in order to provide important information regarding the relationship between the nature of such responses and skin sensitization potency.

    METHODS: Proliferative responses to free MI and to an MI-human serum albumin (HSA) conjugate were measured according to [(3) H]thymidine incorporation (n = 56 donors; patch test scores of + in 20, ++ in 29, and +++ in 7). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured in the presence of MI (0.001-1 µg/ml) or MI-HSA (0.001-100 µg/ml). Proliferating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes were identified by flow cytometry with the intracellular marker Ki-67.

    RESULTS: For free MI, modest positive responses were recorded for 7 of 31 donors. In contrast, MI-HSA stimulated more marked responses in 17 of 31 donors. Characterization of positive proliferative responses showed variable patterns of proliferating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes from donors with the same patch test scores and similar maximal values.

    CONCLUSIONS: MI-HSA is able to induce secondary responses in lymphocytes drawn from sensitized subjects, and provides a more effective source of antigen than free MI. Furthermore, individual donors show differential activity profiles with respect to T lymphocyte subsets.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalContact dermatitis
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016


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