John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


Reduced levels of glutathione S-transferases in patch test reactions to dithranol and sodium lauryl sulphate as demonstrated by quantitative immunocytochemistry: evidence for oxidative stress in acute irritant contact dermatitis Volume 11, issue 2, March - April 2001


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Department of Dermatology, Amersham Hospital, Whielden Street, Amersham, Bucks, HP7 0JD, UK.
  • Key words: dithranol, image analysis, immunocytochemistry, irritant contact dermatitis, oxidative stress, sodium lauryl sulphate, glutathione S-transferase.
  • Page(s) : 99-104
  • Published in: 2001

There is increasing evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of acute irritant contact dermatitis. As part of on-going studies into the effect of irritant chemicals on the anti-oxidant enzyme systems in the skin, we have examined the changing levels of two classes of glutathione S-transferase in patch test reactions to dithranol and sodium lauryl sulphate, using quantitative immunocytochemistry. Although no changes were evident after 6 hrs, significant reductions in the density of staining for glutathione S-transferase alpha were seen with both irritants after 48 hrs and 96 hrs. Glutathione S-transferase pi levels were reduced to a lesser degree, reaching significance for dithranol at the 96 hrs time point only, and for sodium lauryl sulphate at 48 hrs only. The results support the hypothesis that oxidative stress plays a role in chemically-induced inflammation, not only in the case of irritants such as dithranol which are known to directly generate reactive oxygen species, but also with chemicals not generally associated with free radical generation.