Immunoregulation of hapten and drug induced immune reactions

Andrea Cavani, Chiara Ottaviani, Francesca Nasorri, Silvia Sebastiani, Giampiero Girolomoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Unbalanced immune responses to haptens lead to a variety of diseases, including allergic contact dermatitis to skin sensitizers and drug induced immune reactions. The occurrence, magnitude and persistence of immune responses are modulated by specialized T cell subsets with regulatory function. The purpose of this brief review is to summarize the recent data on the role of regulatory T cells in the control of hapten mediated diseases. Recent findings: Several subsets of regulatory T cells, including T regulatory cell 1-like lymphocytes, and cutaneous lymphocyte associated antigen + CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells have been isolated from the skin at sites of hapten challenge. Both cell types suppress specific T cell responses to cutaneous sensitizers, such as nickel. Summary: Although data concerning the regulation of drug hypersensitivity are lacking, several reports indicate the role of regulatory T cell subsets in allergic contact dermatitis to haptens. The understanding of their role in hapten diseases and the requirement for their in-vivo and in-vitro expansion appears as a critical step for the development of specific desensitization protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • CD4CD25 T cells
  • Haptens
  • Interleukin 10
  • Regulatory T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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