Animal Model for the Testing of Allergens and Irritants

A novel in vitro molecular reporter test which measures the upregulation of a keratinocyte-derived costimulatory molecule induced by allergens and irritants.
Certain chemicals enhance the attributes of products which come in significant contact with the skin, such as cosmetics and clothing.  Oftentimes it is not clearly understood what effects these chemicals may have on the skin until after a product has reached the market.  Because the health of potential consumers is at risk, product testing using human volunteers and animals (i.e., the Draize Test) is conducted to measure allergic responses to the chemicals.  Tests have also been developed to study the effects of allergens and irritants based on later events of the inflammatory process such as cell surface expression of adhesion molecules or the production of soluble factors such as cytokines, but all of these tests raise many ethical issues.

A predictive in vitro test would allow for the early identification of chemicals which may cause inflammation of the skin, preventing those products from entering the marketplace, and benefiting the health of tens of millions of consumers.
Researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a quantitative, in vitro molecular test which measures the regulation of gene expression in response to the introduction of an irritant or allergen.  By studying the early cellular molecular events, the test will be more sensitive compared to measuring the natural gene product.

URV Reference Number: 6-0723
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Liliam Martinez Bello
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University of Rochester
Anthony Gaspari
Paul Wakem
in vitro
Reporter System
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