Interactions of sulfates of divalent metals in nickel-sulfate-sensitive patients

B. Santucci, C. Cannistraci, A. Cristaudo, M. Picardo

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70 nickel-sensitive subjects who previously gave positive patch test response to 10 μl of nickel sulfate 0.1 M, were patch tested to 10 μl of mixed aqueous solutions containing nickel sulfate 0.1 M + magnesium sulfate 0.3 M, nickel sulfate 0.1 M + zinc sulfate, 0.3 and 0.5 M, respectively, nickel sulfate 0.1 M + manganese sulphate 0.3 and 0.5 M, respectively nickel sulphate 0.1 M + cadmium sulfate 0.1 and 0.3 M, respectively, nickel sulfate 0.1 M + iron sulfate (III) 0.1 and 0.3 M, respectively, and to 10 μl of aq. cadmium sulfate 0.1 M, aq. cadmium sulfate 0.3 M, aq. iron sulfate 0.1 M, aq. iron sulfate 0.3 M. The results showed that, whilst sulfates of divalent metals with similar size and redox properties (Mg, Zn and Mn) were able to reduce or to suppress, in a dose-dependent way, the majority (75%) of nickel reactions, those with large radius and different oxidation state (Fe III), generally gave an increase in the reactions. In about 15% of the tested subjects, an increase in all the positive reactions to the mixed solutions was found. The findings seem to demonstrate that in only a majority but not all of nickel sulfate allergic reactions, is Ni(II) able to substitute for divalent ions with similar properties at the ion sites of some proteins. This tendency reproduces the results of experimental systems, in which nickel toxicity and cancerogenity are considered responsible. In contrast, in about 15% of the tested subjects, there was a general enhancement of the reactions. In these cases, either the occurrence of a 'hyper-irritable' skin caused by the adopted test system or, more likely, the formation of Ni complexes with different geometries, is hypothesized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Chemical basis
  • Immunological basis
  • Interactions Ni with Mg, Zn, Mn, Cd and Fe
  • Nickel sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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