Due to its high prevalence, allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) has an important economic and occupational
health impact on society. ACD presents as an inflammatory response to small molecules and involves both skin resident
cells and activated skin infiltrating T cells. Activation of skin resident cells plays an essential role in the initial sensitization
phase. A number of different pathways are crucially involved in this phase including the activation of pattern recognition
receptors such as TLR, inflammasome activation and production of reactive oxygen species all of which contribute to
release of cellular mediators such as IL-1 family members. Chemokines regulate steps in elicitation of adaptive T cell responses
including the migration to and presentation of the contact allergen by skin derived antigen presenting cells in the
draining lymph node as well as the recruitment of these activated, allergen reactive CD4+ and CD8+ cells back into the
skin. The current therapeutic regimens are largely restricted to the avoidance of the contact allergen and the topical use of
anti-inflammatory drugs such as glucocorticosteroids. Recent research, as highlighted by current patents, focus on the use
of anti-oxidants, the induction of immunological tolerance, interference with cell signaling molecules and blocking of cytokines
actively involved in ACD.
Keywords: Contact allergens, IL-1 family, NLRP3 inflammasome, reactive oxygen species, skin inflammation, xenobiotic
metabolism, dendritic, cytochrome P450, Contact allergens, cell migration.
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