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January 1980

Sesquiterpene Lactone Dermatitis: Cross-Sensitivity in Costus-Sensitized Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of California at San Francisco (Dr Epstein) and the Departments of Developmental and Cell Biology (Drs Reynolds and Rodriguez) and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Dr Rodriguez), University of California at Irvine.

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(1):59-60. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640250061017

• Thirteen costus-sensitive patients were patch tested with 38 sesquiterpene lactones of five different classes over a two-year period. Cross-reacting agents fell into two chemical categories: (1) those that resembled the primary sensitizer, and (2) those belonging to different skeletal classes. An exocyclic methylene group conjugated to a γ-lactone was present in both chemicals that cross-reacted and those that did not. The difference between these two groups is that cross-reacting chemicals are not highly substituted, tending to be lipophilic, while those giving negative responses all are highly substituted at the C-8/C-6 position. This functional group may hinder binding of exocyclic methylene with skin protein or the actual antigenic site with an immune receptor cell.

(Arch Dermatol 116:59-60, 1980)

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