Nickel (Ni) can cause delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, which are thought to be mediated by the accumulation of T cells into inflamed skin. Accumulated T cells at the developmental stages in metal allergy are poorly characterized because a suitable animal model has not been established. To investigate the accumulated T cells in allergic inflamed skin, we generated a novel murine model of Ni-induced allergy. The murine model of Ni allergy was induced by two sensitizations of Ni plus lipopolysaccharide solution into the groin followed by three challenges with Ni solution into the footpad. Here we show that a specific TCR repertoire bearing Vα14Jα18, called natural killer (NK) T cells, was expanded monoclonally in BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice. Accumulation of NKT cells was characterized as CD4+ or CD4-CD8- T cells. These results suggested that NKT cells are major pathogenic T cells at the elicitation phase of Ni allergy.
- Natural killer T cells