Journal Article

Evaluation of Percutaneous Penetration of Natural Rubber Latex Proteins

Benjamin B. Hayes, Aliakbar Afshari, Lyndell Millecchia, Patsy A. Willard, Stephen P. Povoski and B. Jean Meade

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 56, issue 2, pages 262-270
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Evaluation of Percutaneous Penetration of Natural Rubber Latex Proteins

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Latex allergy is recognized worldwide as a serious health risk. To date, exposure assessment and intervention strategies have focused primarily on respiratory protection; this work evaluates the potential role of dermal protein penetration in the development of latex allergy. In vitro penetration models using flow-through diffusion cells and both human surgical specimens and hairless guinea pig skin (CrL: IAF/HA) demonstrated iodinated latex proteins (ammoniated and non-ammoniated) penetrating into and through both intact and abraded skin. Although less than 1% penetration was observed with intact skin, up to 23% of latex proteins applied to abraded skin were recovered from receptor fluid within 24 h of exposure. Phosphoimaging of the concentrated effluent revealed proteins ranging in size from 3 to 26 kDa. Using a 3H2O penetration assay to evaluate barrier integrity, the amount of latex protein penetration was found to positively correlate with the degree of dermabrasion. Immunohistochemistry of the skin localized latex proteins in the Langerhans cell-rich epidermis and in the dermis. Both in vitro penetration studies and immunohistochemistry supported the use of hairless guinea pig skin as a surrogate for human skin in evaluating latex protein penetration. In studies performed in vivo, 35% of hairless guinea pigs topically exposed to latex proteins (100 μg) 5 days per week for 3 months demonstrated elevations in latex-specific IgG1. The implication for these data is that the skin is not only a plausible route for latex sensitization but can be a major exposure route when the integument has been compromised.

Keywords: latex allergy; dermal protein penetration; flow through diffusion cells; latex specific IgG1; dermal latex sensitization; immunohistochemistry; hairless guinea pig dermal penetration model

Journal Article.  6479 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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