Paraphenylenediamine, a contact allergen, induces oxidative stress and ICAM-1 expression in human keratinocytes

M. Picardo, C. Zompetta, C. Marchese, C. De Luca, A. Faggioni, R. J. Schmidt, B. Santucci

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In an investigation of the role of keratinocytes in the pre-immunological phase of contact allergy, we have studied the effect of paraphenylenediamine (PPD) on cell proliferation, membrane lipid peroxidation and the expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). Because PPD undergoes rapid autoxidation in the culture medium, the effect of PPD-modified medium on keratinocyte proliferation and ICAM-1 expression was also examined. PPD at low concentrations (up to 10 μg/ml) and with low exposure times (0.5 h) enhanced keratinocyte proliferation, but at high concentrations and with longer exposure times resulted in cell stasis and toxicity. These effects and the enhanced membrane lipid peroxidation that was also observed can be ascribed to the production of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide by the autoxidation of PPD in the medium. At non-cytotoxic concentrations, PPD induced ICAM-1 expression on the keratinocytes. PPD-modified medium was also cytotoxic to the keratinocytes and induced ICAM-1 expression in non-cytotoxic concentrations. It appeared that superoxide and hydrogen peroxide were not responsible for the cytotoxicity. These results are consistent with the view that oxidative stress may be an essential part of the pre-immunological phase in the induction of allergic contact dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-455
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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