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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

versão impressa ISSN 0365-0596versão On-line ISSN 1806-4841


SILVESTRE, Marilene Chaves  e  REIS, Vitor Manoel Silva dos. Evaluation of the profile of inflammatory cytokines, through immunohistochemistry, in the skin of patients with allergic contact dermatitis to nickel in the acute and chronic phases. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2018, vol.93, n.6, pp.829-835. ISSN 1806-4841.


Allergic contact dermatitis to ion nickel (Ni+2) is an inflammatory dermatosis, common in industrialized countries. It involves the activation of nickel-specific T-cells, followed by proliferation and induction of a mixed profile of both proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines, suggesting that several T-cell subtypes (helper - Th and cytotoxic - Tc) are involved. A broader understanding of the cytokine profile may lead to new therapeutic approaches.


This study aimed to analyze the cytokines TNF-α, INF-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17 and IL-23 using the immunohistochemistry technique in order to try to identify their prevalence in chronic and acute eczema of patients with allergic contact dermatitis to Ni+2.


We performed an immunohistochemical study for eight cytokines in 20 patients with Ni+2 allergic contact dermatitis, biopsied at the site of chronic eczema, triggered by the patient's daily contact with Ni+2, and at the site of acute eczema caused by nickel sulfate, 48 hours after applying the contact test.


The stained samples showed positive results for the eight cytokines studied. TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-13 and IL-17 had a higher prevalence in chronic eczema, IL-2 and IL-23 in acute eczema, and IL-10 presented a similar prevalence in both acute and chronic eczema. However, these prevalences were statistically significant only for IL-4 and IL-13.

Study Limitations:

Small sample size.


In chronic and acute eczema, we observed the presence of a mixed cytokine profile of the T cell subtypes (Th/Tc), suggesting that the responses are expressed at the same time.

Palavras-chave : Allergy and immunology; Cytokines; Dermatitis, allergic contact; Dermatitis, contact; Immunohistochemistry; Nickel.

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