A Comparative Evaluation of In Vitro Skin Sensitisation Tests: The Human Cell-line Activation Test (h-CLAT) versus the Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA)
Takao Ashikaga, Hitoshi Sakaguchi, Sakiko Sono, Nanae Kosaka, Makie Ishikawa, Yuko Nukada, Masaaki Miyazawa, Yuichi Ito, Naohiro Nishiyama and Hiroshi Itagaki
We previously developed the human cell-line activation test (h-CLAT) in vitro skin sensitisation test, based on our reported finding that a 24-hour exposure of THP-1 cells (a human monocytic leukaemia cell line) to sensitisers is sufficient to induce the augmented expression of CD86 and CD54. The aim of this study is to confirm the predictive value of h-CLAT for skin sensitisation activity by employing a larger number of test chemicals. One hundred chemicals were selected, according to their categorisation in the local lymph node assay (LLNA), as being: extreme, strong, moderate and weak sensitisers, and non-sensitisers. The correlation of the h-CLAT results with the LLNA results was 84%. There were some false negatives (e.g. benzoyl peroxide, hexyl cinnamic aldehyde) and some false positives (e.g. 1-bromobutane, diethylphthalate). Eight out of the 9 false negatives (89%) were water-insoluble chemicals. The h-CLAT could positively predict not only extreme and strong sensitisers, but also moderate and weak sensitisers, though the detection rates of weak sensitisers and non-sensitisers were comparatively low. Some sensitisers enhanced both CD86 and CD54 levels, and some enhanced the level of only one of them. The use of the combination of CD86 and CD54 induction as a positive indicator, improved the accuracy of the test. In conclusion, the h-CLAT is expected to be a useful cell-based in vitro method for predicting skin sensitisation potential.