Letter | Published:

Antigen formation in metal contact sensitivity



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.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Baumgarten, A., and Geczy, A. F., Immunology, 19, 205–217 (1970).

  2. 2

    McFarlin, D. E., and Balfour, B., Immunology, 25, 995–1009 (1973).

  3. 3

    Polak, L., and Macher, E., Nature, 252, 748–749 (1974).

  4. 4

    MacLeod, T. M., Hutchinson, F., and Raffle, E. J., Br. J. Derm., 82, 487–492 (1970).

  5. 5

    Polak, L. and Frey, J. R., Int. Archs Allergy, 44, 161–171 (1974).

  6. 6

    Jones, J. M., and Amos, H. E., Int. Archs Allergy, 46, 161–171 (1974).

  7. 7

    Frey, J. R., and Wenk, P., Int. Archs Allergy, 11, 81–100 (1957).

  8. 8

    Polak, L., Barnes, J. M., and Turk, J. L., Immunology, 14, 707–711 (1968).

  9. 9

    Krivanek, N., and Reeves, A. L., Am. ind. Hyg. Ass. J., 33, 45–52 (1972).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.