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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v21.i5.30
22 pages

Induction and Regulation of T-Cell Priming for Contact Hypersensitivity

Anton V. Gorbachev
Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195
Robert L. Fairchild
Department of Immunology and Urological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195 and Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106


Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) is a T-cell-mediated immune response to cutaneous sensitization and subsequent challenge with haptens such as dinitrofluorobenzene and oxazolone. Clinically, contact sensitivity, also called allergic contact dermatitis, is a frequently observed dermatosis in industrialized countries. Experimental CHS in mice has been used by many laboratories as a model of T-cell-mediated immune responses to antigens deposited onto the skin to study the priming, development, and function of effector and regulatory T-cell components during these responses. In this article we discuss the mechanism of T-cell priming by hapten-presenting Langerhans cells and how the priming environment influences the development of these hapten-specific Т cells to different functional phenotypes during sensitization for the CHS response. Finally, we propose a model of negative regulation of the CHS response by T-cell components that are coincidentally primed with the effector Т cells mediating the response. Overall, these aspects indicate a unique immune response mediated and regulated by specialized antigen-presenting cells and T-cell populations.

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