Inhibition of cutaneous contact hypersensitivity by calcium transport inhibitors lanthanum and diltiazem

Wolfgang Diezel, Stefan Gruner, Luis A. Diaz, Grant J. Anhalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Epidermal Langerhans cells (ELC) are bone marrow-derived immune cells that are important in allergic contact dermatitis. We examined the influence of calcium transport inhibitors, lanthanum and diltiazem hydrochloride, on allergic contact dermatitis induced by 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB) in BALB/c mice. Systemic lanthanum at a dose of 0.08 mg/kg and topical lanthanum (50μ1 of 10% solution) were given 5 d before DNCB sensitization. Systemic diltiazem (30 mg/kg per dy) was given for 3 d during sensitization with DNCB. In all animals, challenge with topical DNCB to the ear skin was performed 5 d after sensitization and ear swelling was measured. Twenty four hours post-DNCB challenge, animals receiving systemic lanthanum demonstrated a 56% decrease in contact hypersensitivity (ear swelling) compared with non-lanthanum-treated animals (0.08 ± 0.03 mm vs 0.18 mm ± 0.02 mm, p < 0.01). Topical lanthanum produced a 58% decrease in contact hypersensitivity (0.20 ± 0.02 mm vs 0.41 ± 0.03 mm, p <0.01). The DNCB-induced ear swelling also resolved more quickly in animals treated with lanthanum. Systemic diltiazem produced a 67% decrease in ear swelling (0.05 ± 0.01 mm vs 0.15 ± 0.02 mm, p <0.001). A decrease in epidermal Langerhans cell density of 13 to 14% was produced by systemic lanthanum, detected by both ATPase staining and Ia staining, respectively (p < 0.05). Approximately 20% of the Langerhans cells were morphologically abnormal, having become "rounded," and lacking normal dendritic processes. From these results, we infer that calcium transport across the cell membrane of ELC may be important in the regulation of their function. Lanthanides and other calcium-channel blockers may be useful pharmacologic agents to probe these phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of cutaneous contact hypersensitivity by calcium transport inhibitors lanthanum and diltiazem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this