Sex differences in susceptibility to development of contact hypersensitivity to dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)


We have investigated the differences between the sexes in the development of contact sensitivity induced by dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). Ten male and 12 female subjects were sensitized with DNCB (30 $μ$g applied on a 1 cm patch test disc) and challenged 1 month later with doses of 8.8, 12.5, 17.7 and 25 $μ$g. The responses were measured after 48 h as increase in skinfold thickness with Harpenden callipers. Females showed a larger response at all challenge doses studied, and the slope of the log-dose response curve was significantly steeper in females. We conclude that there are significant differences in delayed type hypersensitivity between males and females.

British Journal of Dermatology 1989; 120(3):371-374