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Archives of toxicology

Assessment of the sensitizing potency of preservatives with chance of skin contact by the loose-fit coculture-based sensitization assay (LCSA).


PMID 25395006

Abstract

Parabens, methylisothiazolinone (MI) and its derivative methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), are commonly used as preservatives in personal care products. They can cause hypersensitivity reactions of the human skin. We have tested a set of nine parabens, MI alone and in combination with MCI in the loose-fit coculture-based sensitization assay (LCSA). The coculture of primary human keratinocytes and allogenic dendritic cell-related cells (DC-rc) in this assay emulates the in vivo situation of the human skin. Sensitization potency of the test substances was assessed by flow cytometric analysis of the DC-rc maturation marker CD86. Determination of the concentration required to cause a half-maximal increase in CD86-expression (EC50sens) allowed a quantitative evaluation. The cytotoxicity of test substances as indicator for irritative potency was measured by 7-AAD (7-amino-actinomycin D) staining. Parabens exhibited weak (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and isopropylparaben) or strong (butyl-, isobutyl-, pentyl- and benzylparaben) effects, whereas phenylparaben was found to be a moderate sensitizer. Sensitization potencies of parabens correlated with side chain length. Due to a pronounced cytotoxicity, we could not estimate an EC50sens value for MI, whereas MI/MCI was classified as sensitizer and also showed cytotoxic effects. Parabens showed no (methyl- and ethylparaben) or weak irritative potencies (propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-, phenyl- and benzylparaben), only pentylparaben was rated to be irritative. Overall, we were able to demonstrate and compare the sensitizing potencies of parabens in this in vitro test. Furthermore, we showed an irritative potency for most of the preservatives. The data further support the usefulness of the LCSA for comparison of the sensitizing potencies of xenobiotics.