sensitization to chemicals

David Parker parkerd at
Fri Aug 2 16:52:47 EST 1996

In article <4tp2kh$o66 at>, semerson at (Steve
Emerson) wrote:

> Betty Bridges (bcb56 at wrote:
> : Can anyone explain the pathogenesis of sensitization to chemicals?  
> As a layman, I believe that chemicals somehow activate or
> increase MAO or MAOB activity, which results in neurotransmitter

I don't know how the sensitization might be modulated by MAO etc., but the
underlying process is that contact sensitivity to chemicals is an immune
response mediated by T cells.  Certain chemicals and metal ions bind to
histocompatibility antigens or to self peptides bound to
histocompatibility antigens in such a way to make them look foreign to T
lymphocytes, and provoke an immune reponse.  The T cells release
inflammatory cytokines that cause the pathology.

David C. Parker
Oregon Health Sciences University              voice:  (503)494-1498
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology              fax:  (503)494-6862
3181 SW Sam Jackson Pk Rd, L220             internet:  parkerd at
Portland, Oregon  97201-3098

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