The discrimination between nickel-sensitive and non-nickel-sensitive subjects by an in vitro lymphocyte transformation test

Br J Dermatol. 1990 Mar;122(3):293-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1990.tb08276.x.


A lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) was able to distinguish between nickel-sensitive subjects and non-nickel-sensitive controls. Sixty-one out of 66 (92%) nickel-sensitive subjects had positive stimulation indices in 6- and/or 7-day assays using 5 micrograms/ml of nickel sulphate, whereas none of the 43 controls gave positive results. Stimulation indices were not enhanced by the patch testing of subjects to nickel before performing the LTT. A weak correlation was seen between the results of the LTT and the macroscopic degree of patch-test reactivity. The concentration of nickel sulphate used (5 micrograms/ml) did not have a significant non-specific mitogenic effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Contact / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritants / adverse effects*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Nickel / adverse effects*
  • Patch Tests


  • Irritants
  • nickel sulfate
  • Nickel