The local lymph node assay: An interlaboratory evaluation of interleukin 6 (IL-6) production by draining lymph node cells

R. J. Dearman, E. W. Scholes, L. S P Ramdin, D. A. Basketter, I. Kimber

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    The murine local lymph node assay is a predictive method for the identification of skin-sensitizing chemicals in which activity is measured as a function of proliferative activity induced in lymph nodes draining the site of exposure. In the present study, the induction by topically applied chemicals of draining lymph node cell (LNC) production of the cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6) has been evaluated as an alternative endpoint for the local lymph node assay. In addition, results derived from studies of IL-6 production by LNC performed independently in two separate collaborating laboratories have been compared. Of the nine skin sensitizing chemicals examined, six provoked detectable levels (>150 pg ml-1) of IL-6 production by draining LNCs (as measured by enzyme-linked immnnosorbent assay) following exposure of mice to at least one test concentration of the material in both of the laboratories. Three other sensitizing chemicals failed to induce measurable IL-6 production at any test concentration in either one or both of the participating laboratories. Both of the non-sensitizing chemicals evaluated (sodium lauryl sulphate and methyl salicylate) also failed to result in detectable IL-6 synthesis. There was a high level of agreement between the two laboratories. The rank order of chemicals with respect to IL-6 production by LNCs was identical in both cases, as was the dose-response relationship observed with each test material. These data reveal that, although inducible IL-6 production by draining LNCs provides a robust approach to the measurement of strong sensitizing activity, as performed here the method is of insufficient sensitivity for the routine identification of skin allergens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-291
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1994


    • IL-6
    • local lymph node assay
    • skin sensitization


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