Content » Vol 87, Issue 5

Investigative Report

Serotonergic Mechanisms in Human Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Husameldin El-Nour , Lena Lundeberg , Nada Abdelmagid , Sol-Britt Lonne-Rahm , Efrain C. Azmitia , Klas Nordlind
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0288


Expression of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT), 5-HT receptors 1A (5-HT1AR) and 2A, and serotonin transporter protein (SERT) was studied in positive epicutaneous reactions to nickel sulphate in nickel-allergic patients, at 72 h post-challenge with the antigen. In addition, the effects of 5-HT2AR agonist 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodo­amphetamine (DOI), and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) citalopram and fluoxetine, were tested on nickel-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from nickel-allergic patients, regarding their proliferation and interleukin (IL)-2 production, as well as the effect of these SSRIs on a murine Langerhans’ cell-like line (XS52), regarding its IL-1β production. Serotonin-positive platelets were increased in the inflamed skin compared with control skin. A decrease (p <0.01) in 5-HT1AR-positive mononuclear cells was evident in the eczematous skin compared with control skin, whereas 5-HT2AR- and SERT-positive cells were increased (p <0.001 for both) in the eczematous skin. Treatment of nickel-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells with 5×10–5 mol/l of DOI inhibited (p <0.01) the proliferation of nickel-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, while no effect was found regarding IL-2 production. Citalopram at 10–6 mol/l tended to inhibit the production of IL-1β by the XS52 cell line. These results indicate the implication of the serotonergic system in the contact allergic reaction.


Supplementary content


Not logged in! You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.