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