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Skin penetration by the natural rubber latex proteins, hevein, and rubber elongation factor.

Howell MD; Hayes BB; Alenius H; Meade BJ
Toxicologist 2000 Mar; 54(1):154
Differences in IgE antibody patterns have been demonstrated in latex allergic individuals who have undergone multiple surgeries and those with limited surgical exposure to natural rubber latex (NRL). Adult health care workers show a higher prevalence of antibody towards hevein (Hev b 6.02) whereas children requiring multiple surgeries have shown a higher prevalence of recognition of Rubber Elongation Factor (REF, Hev b 1). The mechanisms underlying the differences in protein recognition by these risk groups is presently not known. These studies were designed to examine the extent of dermal penetration of hevein and REF using hairless guinea pig skin in an in vitro flow through dermal penetration model. Proteins were radio labeled with 125-I using a modified chloramine-T method and applied to dermatomed skin sections (250 um) that were unaltered or abraded via tape stripping to remove the stratum corneum. In comparing the penetration of hevein and REF into intact and abraded skin samples (n=6), no significant differences were observed between the two proteins. For intact skin, 0.34% and 0.57% of the total applied radio labeled proteins were recovered for hevein and REF, respectively. Dermal abrasion increased the penetration into the skin with 5.22% orbevein and 3.32% of REF being retained. For both hevein and REF, less than 2% of the proteins penetrated through the intact skin while greater than 20% was able to penetrate through abraded skin. Mass balance for all penetration studies was greater than 94%. Immunohistochemistry of skin sections revealed localization of proteins in the stratum corneum of intact samples with more intense staining in the viable layers of the epidermis in abraded samples. Based on the results of these studies, the differences in sera recognition of hevein and REF between HCW and multiple surgery patients does not appear to be related to the ability of the proteins at equal concentrations to penetrate the skin.
Proteins; Health care personnel; Surgery; Risk factors; In vitro studies; Models; Laboratory animals; Animals; Animal studies; Skin exposure; Skin irritants; Sampling; Sampling methods
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 39th Annual Meeting, March 19-23, 2000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division