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Serum levels of protein oxidation products in patients with nickel allergy

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Nickel sensitization can not only induce allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), but also can induce an overlapping disease referred to as “systemic nickel allergy syndrome” (SNAS), characterized by urticaria/angioedema and gastrointestinal symptoms correlated to the ingestion of nickel-containing foods. This study was designed to determine if oxidative stress occurs in patients with nickel allergy. Thirty-one female patients (mean age 31.26 + 13.04 years, range 16‐64 years) with confirmed nickel CD underwent oral nickel challenge because of clinically suspected SNAS; serum concentrations of protein carbonyl groups (PCGs) and nitrosylated proteins (NPs; biomarkers of oxidative stress) were measured before and after oral nickel challenge as well as in healthy female controls. Twenty-three of these 31 patients were diagnosed with SNAS because they had a positive reaction to the oral nickel challenge, and 8 patients had no reaction and therefore were classified as patients with contact nickel allergy only. Although both nickel-allergic patients and controls presented similar serum levels of PCGs, NP values in nickel-allergic patients appeared higher than in controls and tended to decrease after the challenge; furthermore, serum levels of NPs in patients affected by SNAS were higher (although not significantly) than in patients with nickel ACD only. The involvement of specific biomarkers of oxidative stress such as NPs and the lack of involvement of other biomarkers such as PCGs may help to better understand the alteration of the redox homeostasis occurring in nickel ACD and particularly in SNAS.

Keywords: Biomarker; contact dermatitis; contact nickel allergy; nitrosylated proteins; oral challenge; oxidative stress; protein carbonyl groups; systemic nickel allergy syndrome

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School and Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Human Pathology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.

Publication date: September 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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