Induction of inflammatory cytokines in murine keratinocytes upon in vivo stimulation with contact sensitizers and tolerizing analogues

Jürgen Haas, Thilo Lipkow, Mansour Mohamadzadeh, Gerhard Kolde, Jürgen Knop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Abstract In order to elucidate the role of keratinocytes (KCs) in the induction of contact sensitivity, we applied various contact sensitizers [2,4‐dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB), urushiol, 3‐n‐pentadecyleatechol (PDC), 4‐ethoxymethylene‐2‐phenyloxazol‐5‐one (oxazolone)] and tolerizing compounds [2,4‐dinitrothiocyanobenzene (DNTB), 5‐methyl‐3‐n‐pentadecyl‐catechol (5‐Me‐PDC)] onto the earskin of non‐sensitized Balb/c mice. In addition, we applied croton oil as a non‐sensitizing, but stimulatory agent. Cytokine production was demonstrated by Northern blot hybridization of the total cellular RNA extracted from epidermal cells depleted by Langerhans cells and Thy 1+ dendritic cells using radiolabeled DNA probes encoding for the murine cytokines IL‐lα, ‐2, ‐3, ‐4, TNFα, IFNτ, GM‐CSF and G‐CSF. From all cytokines tested, TNFα and IL‐lα were markedly increased upon in vivo stimulation with contact sensitizers and also after application of croton oil. Both light and electron microscopic immunostaining with a polyclonal and monoclonal antibody demonstrated the presence of TNFα in the epidermis. This staining was most pronounced in KCs of the suprabasal epidermis upon application of contact sensitizers or croton oil, but not with tolerizing analogues. Using a functional assay significantly more TNFα was found in the supenatants of KCs treated in vitro with DNFB or LPS than with DNTB. GM‐CSF was found in untreated epidermis as well as in stimulated cells. The results suggest that the sensitizing properties of contact sensitizers may partly be dependent on their ability to induce proinflammatory mediators. The induction and release of TNF7α and IL‐lα in KCs by contact sensitizers may play an important role in the early response to immunogenic or inflammatory signals in vivo, whereby tolerance induction seems to be less dependent on these cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • contact allergy
  • cytokine induction
  • keratinocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Induction of inflammatory cytokines in murine keratinocytes upon in vivo stimulation with contact sensitizers and tolerizing analogues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this