Contact sensitization induces proliferation of heterogeneous populations of hapten‐specific T cells

Bettina Fehr, A. Takashima, H. Matsue, J. S. Gerometta, P. R. Bergstresser, Ponciano D Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Abstract To characterize the T cells that are activated during the induction of contact hypersensitivity (CH), two sets of studies were conducted: 1) dinitrophenol (DNP)‐specific proliferative responses of T cells in draining lymph nodes of BALB/c mice sensitized epicutaneously to dinitro‐fluorobenzene (DNFB) were examined, and 2) from these lymph node cells, DNP‐specific T cells were cloned by limiting dilution microculture and analyzed by FACS for surface markers, by RT‐PCR, HT2 bioassay and ELISA for cytokine expression at mRNA and protein levels respectively, and by proliferation assay for cytokine and antigen‐presenting cell (APC) requirements. Our results show that αβ TCR‐bearing T cells of both the CD4+ and CD8+ subtypes from lymph nodes of DNFB‐skin‐painted mice proliferate specifically to dinitrobenzene sulfonate (DNBS) in vitro. Four DNP‐specific, CD4+ T‐cell clones were characterized: clone 5S4 secreted IL‐4 and required 11‐4 for optimal growth; clone 5S10 secreted IL‐2 and required 1L‐2 for optimal growth; clone 5S2 secreted IL‐4 but required IL‐2 for optimal growth; and clone 5S8 secreted IL‐2 predominantly at 5 months, but switched to production of IL‐4 at 7 months. All four clones secreted IL‐10, and proliferated to DNBS when Langerhans cell (LC)‐enriched epidermal cells were used as APC. These findings indicate that heterogeneous populations of DNP‐specific T cells are activated in draining lymph nodes during the induction of CH to DNFB in BALB/c mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • Th1 cells
  • Th2 cells
  • contact hypersensitivity
  • hapten
  • specific T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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