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Relationship: 378


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

Response, Keratinocytes leads to Activation, Dendritic Cells

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes. Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
human Homo sapiens High NCBI
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI
guinea pig Cavia porcellus High NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

Biochemical or intracellular pathways affected by the action of reactive chemicals on molecular targets are incompletely known. However, there is evidence that during the sensitisation response, haptenprotein conjugates (hereafter noted as haptens) can react with cell surface proteins and activate mitogenactivated protein kinase signalling pathways. In particular, the biochemical pathways involving extracellular signal-regulating kinases- the c-Jun N-terminal kinases and the p38 kinases have been shown to be activated upon exposure to protein-binding chemicals[1]. These pathways are of particular importance in keratinocytes and dendritic cell response to skin sensitizers.

Uptake of the hapten by keratinocytes activates multiple events, including the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the induction of cyto-protective cellular pathways. Activation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-18 results from cleavage of inactive IL-18 precursor protein by inflammasome-associated caspase-1[2]. Sensitizers can activate the inflammasome ([3];[4]) and in so doing induce IL-18 production. Intracellular Nodlike receptors (NLR) contain sensors for a number of cellular insults. Upon activation (by a currently unknown mechanism), NLRs oligomerise form molecular complexes (i.e. inflammasomes) that are involved in the activation of inflammatory-associated caspases, including caspase-1. Inductions of intracellular levels of IL-18 exhibit responses upon exposure to sensitizers which can be used to establish potency[5].

Under the influence of fibroblast- blood endothelial- and lymph endothelial-chemokines (e.g. CCL19, CCL21) and epidermal cytokines (e.g. interleukin (IL), IL-1 α, IL-1β, IL-18, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)) maturing dendritic cells migrate from the epidermis to the dermis of the skin and then to the proximal lymph nodes, where they can present the hapten-protein complex to T-cells via a major histocompatibility complex molecule ([6]; [7]).

Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER.  For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help
Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help
Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

Uncertainties include the significance of Th1 or type 1 (IFN-γ) versus Th2 or type 2 (IL-2, IL-4, IL-13) cytokine secretion profiles [14]), and sensitisation measurements in different in vivo models. - Inconsistencies within the reported data are seen. There are differences between in vitro responses for highly similar chemicals (see [15];[16]). There are differences within and between in vivo test results for highly similar chemicals (see Annex C of the European Centre for Ecotoxicological and Toxicological Chemicals, 2010). Highly hydrophobic chemicals, which are in vivo sensitizers, are not active in aquatic-based in chemico or in vitro assays. The specific nature of the relationship between irritation and sensitisation has yet to be elucidated.

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help
Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

While in vivo testing focuses on selected mammals including man, the key events for this AOP appear to be conserved across mammals.


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help
  1. Trompezinski S, Migdal C, Tailhardat M, Le Varlet B, Courtellemont P, Haftek M, Serres M. 2008. Charaterization of early events involved in human dendritic cell maturation induced by sensitizers: cross talk between MAPK signalling pathways. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 230: 397- 406.
  2. Martinon, F., Mayor, A. and Tschopp, J. 2009. The inflammasomes: guardians of the body. Ann. Rev. Immunol. 27: 229-265.
  3. Sutterwala FS, Ogura Y, Szczepanik M, Lara-Tejero M, Lichtenberger GS, Grant EP, Bertin J, Coyle AJ, Galán JE, Askenase PW, Flavell RA. 2006. Critical role for NALP3/CIAS1/Cryopyrin in innate and adaptive immunity through its regulation of caspase-1. Immunity 24: 317-327.
  4. Watanabe H, Gaide O, Pétrilli V, Martinon F, Contassot E, Roques S, Kummer JA, Tschopp J, French LE. 2007. Activation of the IL-1beta-processing inflammasome is involved in contact hypersensitivity. J. Invest. Dermatol. 127: 1956-1963.
  5. Van Och FMM, Van Loveren H, Van Wolfswinkel JC, Machielsen AJC, Vandebriel RJ. 2005. Assessment of potency of allergenic activity of low molecular weight compounds based on IL-1α and IL-18 production by a murine and human keratinocyte cell line. Toxicology 210: 95-109.
  6. Antonopoulos C, Cumberbatch M, Mee JB, Dearman RJ, Wei XQ, Liew FY, Kimber I, Groves RW. 2008. IL-18 is a key proximal mediator of contact hypersensitivity and allergeninduced Langerhans cell migration in murine epidermis. J. Leukoc. Biol. 83: 361-367.
  7. Ouwehand K, Santegoets SJAM, Bruynzeel DP, Scheper RJ, de Gruijl TD, Gibbs S. 2008. CXCL12 is essential for migration of activated Langerhans cells for epidermis to dermis. Eur. J. Immunol. 38: 3050-3059.
  8. Gerberick F, Aleksic M, Basketter D, Casati S, Karlberg AT, Kern P, Kimber I, Lepoittevin JP, Natsch A, Ovigne JM, Rovida C, Sakaguchi H and Schultz T 2008. Chemical reactivity measurement and the predictive identification of skin sensitisers. Altern. Lab. Anim.36: 215-242
  9. Karlberg AT, Bergström MA, Börje A, Luthman, K, Nilsson JL. 2008. Allergic contact dermatitis- formation, structural requirements, and reactivity of skin sensitizers. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 21: 53-69
  10. Vocanson M, Hennino A, Rozieres A, Poyet G, Nicolas JF. 2009. Effector and regulatory mechanisms in allergic contact dermatitis. Allergy 64: 1699-1714
  11. Aeby P, Ashikaga T, Bessou-Touya S, Schapky A, Geberick F, Kern P, Marrec-Fairley M, Maxwell G, Ovigne J-M, Sakaguchi H, Reisinger K, Tailhardat M, Martinozzi-Teisser S, Winkler P 2010. Identifying and characterizing chemical skin sensitizers without animal testing; Colipa’s research and methods development program. Toxicol. In Vitro 24: 1465-1473.
  12. Basketter DA and Kimber I 2010. Contact hypersensitivity. In: McQueen, CA (ed) Comparative Toxicology Vol. 5, 2nd Ed. Elsevier, Kidlington, UK, pp. 397-411.
  13. Adler S, BasketterD, Creton S, Pelkonen O, van Benthem J, Zuang V, Ejner-Andersen K, Angers- Loustau A, Aptula A, Bal-Price A, Benfenati E, Bernauer U, Bessems J, Bois FY, Boobis A, Brandon E, Bremer S, Broschard T, Casati S Coecke S Corvi R, Cronin M, Daston G, Dekant W, Felter S, Grignard E, Gundert-Remy U, Heinonen T, Kimber I, Kleinjans J, Komulainen H, Kreiling R, Kreysa J, Batista Leite S, Loizou G, Maxwell G, Mazzatorta P, Munn S, Pfuhler S, Phrakonkham P, Piersma A, Poth A, Prieto P, Repetto G, Rogiers V, Schoeters G, Schwarz M, Serafimova R, Tahti H, Testai E, van Delft J, van Loveren H, Vinken M, Worth A, Zaldivar JM. 2011. Alternative (non-animal) methods for cosmetics testing: current status and future prospects-2010. Arch. Toxicol. 85: 367-485.
  14. Hopkins JE, Naisbitt DJ, Kitteringham NR, Dearman RJ, Kimber I, Park BK. 2005. Selective haptenation of cellular or extracellular proteins by chemical allergens: Association with cytokine polarization. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 18: 375-381
  15. Natsch A and Emter R. 2008. Skin sensitizers induce antioxidant response element dependent genes: Application to the in vitro testing of the sensitisation potential of chemicals. Toxicol. Sci. 102: 110-119
  16. McKim JM Jr, Keller DJ III, Gorski JR. 2010. A new in vitro method for identifying chemical sensitizers combining peptide binding with ARE/EpRE-mediated gene expression in human skin cells. Cutan. Ocul. Toxicol. 29: 171-192.