Anat Cell Biol.  2015 Dec;48(4):225-234. 10.5115/acb.2015.48.4.225.

Role of mast cell in the late phase of contact hypersensitivity induced by trimellitic anhydride

  • 1Department of Anatomy, Chonbuk National University Medical School and Institute for Medical Science, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.


Mast cells are known as effector cells of IgE-mediated allergic responses, but role of mast cells in contact hypersensitivity (CHS) has been considered controversial. In this study, we investigated role of mast cell in trimellitic anhydride (TMA)-induced CHS. The mice were sensitized to TMA on the back and repeatedly challenged with TMA on the left ear at 1-week intervals. The ear after challenge showed biphasic responses. The repetition of TMA challenge shifted in time course of ear response and enlarged the extent of early and late phase reactions in proportion to the frequency of TMA challenges in C57BL/6 mice. In late phase reaction, peak of ear response by single challenge showed at 24 hours after challenge, but the peak by repeat challenges at 8 hours after the last challenge. Number of mast cells and eosinophils per unit area increased in proportion to frequency of TMA challenges. However, mast cell-deficient WBB6F1/J-Kit(W)/Kit(W-v) mice developed the late phase reaction without the early phase reaction. The repetition of TMA challenge shifted in time course of ear response and enlarged the extent of ear response and the infiltration of eosinophils. The magnitude of these responses observed according to the frequency of the TMA challenge in mast cell-deficient WBB6F1/J-Kit(W)/Kit(W-v) mice was significantly lower than that in C57BL/6 mice. Also TMA elicited mast cell degranulation and histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Conclusively, TMA induces the early and late phase reactions in CHS, and mast cells may be required for TMA-induced CHS.


Mast cells; Trimellitic anhydride; Contact hypersensitivity; Biphasic response
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