Development of an in vitro skin sensitization test using human cell lines: the human Cell Line Activation Test (h-CLAT). I. Optimization of the h-CLAT protocol.

Research paper by T T Ashikaga, Y Y Yoshida, M M Hirota, K K Yoneyama, H H Itagaki, H H Sakaguchi, M M Miyazawa, Y Y Ito, H H Suzuki, H H Toyoda

Indexed on: 29 Nov '05Published on: 29 Nov '05Published in: Toxicology in Vitro


The aim of this study is to optimize the experimental conditions for an in vitro skin sensitization test using the human cell lines THP-1 and U-937. As regards pre-culturing time, the expression of CD86 on DNCB-treated THP-1 cells tended to be higher after 48h and 72h pre-culture compared with other time points evaluated. Next, we investigated the effect of chemical treatment time, and found that induction of CD86 expression on THP-1 cells by DNCB reached a plateau after 24h. Augmentation of CD86 expression is often observed when cells are treated with a subtoxic dose of allergens. To determine the appropriate dose of test samples, the cytotoxicity of test samples to THP-1 and U-937 cells was assessed with MTT assay, and the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of each test sample was calculated. Based on the cytotoxicity assay data, four concentrations in the range between toxic and non-toxic were selected (0.1x, 0.5x, 1x and 2x IC50). Several kinds of antibodies were tested for staining THP-1 and U-937 cells treated with allergens/non-allergens (e.g., DNCB, Ni/SLS), and suitable antibodies for staining CD86 and CD54 were selected. We confirmed that the working dilutions of the selected CD86 and CD54 antibodies were appropriate for use in our method. The effect of an FcR blocking procedure was also evaluated. The mean fluorescence intensity (MFI value) was decreased by the FcR blocking procedure, which indicated that non-specific staining was blocked. Therefore, this procedure should be included in the method. Based on our findings, the protocol for this assay was optimized and the experimental conditions to be used in a future validation study were identified. We propose to call this kind of in vitro skin sensitization test h-CLAT, which is short for human Cell Line Activation Test.

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