Mechanistic assessment of peptide reactivity assay to predict skin allergens with Kathon CG isothiazolinones

Toxicol In Vitro. 2009 Apr;23(3):439-46. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2009.01.014.


Assessment of skin sensitization hazard of chemicals currently depends on in vivo methods. Considering the forthcoming European Union ban on in vivo testing of cosmetic/toiletry ingredients, the search for alternative non-animal approaches is an urgent challenge for investigators today. For the skin sensitization end-point the concept of protein/peptide haptenation, that could reflect the chemical modification of skin proteins, crucial to form immunogenic structures, has been used to develop in vitro assays to predict the sensitization potential of new chemicals. Using glutathione and nucleophile-containing synthetic peptides we confirmed previously the possibility to screen for skin sensitization potential by measuring peptide depletion following incubation with a set of allergens and non-allergens. In this paper, additionally to our model development work, we performed mechanistic based studies to confirm the peptide reactivity concept under the specific conditions used for haptens in the screening assay as they were somewhat different from the ones expected to happen in vivo. Following the reactivity toward the peptides of 13C labelled MI and MCI, models of true haptens, we showed that the initial step leading to the biological end-point was similar regardless the conditions used even if final adducts could be different. This confirmed the validity of the peptide reactivity concept as well as the choice made to look at peptide depletion rather than at adduct formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / chemistry*
  • Allergens / classification
  • Allergens / toxicity
  • Animal Testing Alternatives*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Glutathione / chemistry
  • Haptens / chemistry*
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Protein Binding
  • Skin / immunology
  • Thiazoles / chemistry*
  • Thiazoles / classification
  • Thiazoles / toxicity


  • Allergens
  • Haptens
  • Peptides
  • Thiazoles
  • 2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one
  • 5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one
  • Glutathione