Letter | Published:

Antigen formation in metal contact sensitivity

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Abstract

THERE have been reports of experimental induction of contact sensitivity to dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and dinitrofluorobenzene by injection of dinitrophenol (DNP) conjugated to lymphoid cells1–3. The DNP group is known to be capable of acting as a hapten but it is difficult to apply the term ‘hapten’ to the case of inorganic metals which act as contact sensitisers since antibodies with specificity for the metal ions have not been demonstrated. This is hardly surprising in view of the small size of some of the metals implicated as sensitisers, yet metal salts have been shown to produce stimulation of lymphocytes from individuals with metal contact sensitivity4–6. The following experiments were designed to determine whether lymph node cells pulsed with beryllium were capable of inducing beryllium contact sensitivity.

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References

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