The skin sensitizer 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) provokes delayed hypersensitivity responses as a result of topical application to the skin. Here, we demonstrate that DNFB modifies proteins in RAW 264.7 cells and skin tissues in NCNga mice; we also show the functional involvement of DNFB-induced modification of cellular proteins in the DNFB-induced macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 gene expression in RAW 264.7 cells. In addition, we demonstrate that DNFB strongly induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Our RT-PCR analysis and reporter gene assays reveal that the DNFB-induced intracellular ROS production is necessary for MIP-2 gene expression by DNFB. We observed that the vitamin C and chemical oxidant scavenger N-acetyl-cysteine have an inhibitory effect on the generation of ROS, the activation of MAP kinase pathways, and the MIP-2 gene expression in DNFB-treated RAW 264.7 cells. These results provide insight into the mechanisms involved in DNFB-induced contact hypersensitivity.
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