Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 20, No. 6, 2007
Issue release date: October 2007

Penetration of Pollen Proteins into the Skin

Jacobi U. · Engel K. · Patzelt A. · Worm M. · Sterry W. · Lademann J.
To view the fulltext, log in and/or choose pay-per-view option

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


Atopic dermatitis is a chronic remittent skin disease. In the extrinsic form of atopic dermatitis, type IgE-mediated reactions play an important pathophysiological role. The aim of the present study was to examine whether type I allergens can penetrate into the skin. Therefore, pollen proteins were labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), and their penetration profile was studied qualitatively. Solutions of FITC-labeled pollen proteins were applied in vitro on porcine skin and in vivo on human skin. In vitro, the FITC-labeled proteins were observed within the complete stratum corneum (SC) and inside the hair follicles even 15 min after application. They were also distributed inside the dermis around the hair follicles. In vivo, a similar pattern of distribution within the SC and the hair follicles was observed. These results indicate penetration via the SC lipid layers and a faster penetration via the hair follicles. The FITC-labeled proteins entered the dermis via the follicular pathway. Therefore, the follicular penetration should be considered in the development of skin protection strategies. To evaluate such strategies, the developed method can be used, and further studies in atopic dermatitis patients are necessary to determine whether the penetration of type I allergens is increased.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Beasley R, Keil U, von Mutius E, Pearce N, it-Khaled N, Anabwani G, Anderson HR, Asher MI, Bjorkstein B, Burr ML, Clayton TO, Crane J, Ellwood P, Lai CKW, Mallol J, Martinez FD, Mitchell EA, Montefort S, Robertson CF, Shah JR, Sibbald B, Stewart AW, Strachan DP, Weiland SK, Williams HC: Worldwide variation in prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema: ISAAC. Lancet 1998;351:1225–1232.
  2. D’Amato G, Spieksma FT, Liccardi G, Jäger S, Russo M, Kontou-Fili K, Nikkels H, Wüthrich B, Bonini S: Pollen-related allergy in Europe. Allergy 1998;53:567–578.
  3. Pastar Z, Lipozencic J, Ljubojevic S: Etiopathogenesis of atopic dermatitis – an overview. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat 2005;13:54–62.

    External Resources

  4. Cudowska B, Kaczmarski M: Atopy patch test in the diagnosis of food allergy in children with atopic eczema dermatitis syndrome. Rocz Akad Med Bialymst 2005;50:261–267.
  5. Grote M: In situ localization of pollen allergens by immunogold electron microscopy: allergens at unexpected sites. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1999;118:1–6.
  6. El-Ghazaly G, Moate R, Cresti M, Walles B, Takahashi Y, Ferreira F, Obermeyer G: Localization and release of allergens from tapetum and pollen grains of Betula pendula. Protoplasma 1999;208:37–46.
  7. Jacobi U, Wilken K, Tribius S, Schaefer H, Sterry W, Lademann J, Worm M: Penetration von Pollenallergenen durch die Haut – Entwicklung einer neuen Nachweismethode. Akt Dermatol 2003;29:202–205.

    External Resources

  8. Jarolim E, Rumpold H, Endler AT, Ebner H, Breitenbach M, Scheiner O, Kraft D: IgE and IgG antibodies of patients with allergy to birch pollen as tools to define the allergen profile of Betula verrucosa. Allergy 1989;44:385–395.
  9. Mäkinen Y: Localization of allergenic molecules in pollen grains. Allergy Suppl 1985;40:54–56.

    External Resources

  10. Bouwstra JA, Dubbelaar FE, Gooris GS, Weerheim AM, Ponec M: The role of ceramide composition in the lipid organisation of the skin barrier. Biochim Biophys Acta 1999;1419:127–136.
  11. Elias PM: Epidermal lipids, barrier function, and desquamation. J Invest Dermatol 1983;80(suppl):44s–49s.
  12. Fartasch M: The nature of the epidermal barrier: structural aspects. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 1996;18:273–282.
  13. Schreiner V, Gooris GS, Pfeiffer S, Lanzendorfer G, Wenck H, Diembeck W, Proksch E, Bouwstra J: Barrier characteristics of different human skin types investigated with X-ray diffraction, lipid analysis, and electron microscopy imaging. J Invest Dermatol 2000;114:654–660.
  14. Palmer CN, Irvine AD, Terron-Kwiatkowski A, Zhao Y, Liao H, Lee SP, Goudie DR, Sandilands A, Campbell LE, Smith FJ, O’Regan GM, Watson RM, Cecil JE, Bale SJ, Compton JG, DiGiovanna JJ, Fleckman P, Lewis-Jones S, Arseculeratne G, Sergeant A, Munro CS, El HB, McElreavey K, Halkjaer LB, Bisgaard H, Mukhopadhyay S, McLean WH: Common loss-of-function variants of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin are a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis. Nat Genet 2006;38:441–446.
  15. Hata M, Tokura Y, Takigawa M, Sato M, Shioya Y, Fujikura Y, Imokawa G: Assessment of epidermal barrier function by photoacoustic spectrometry in relation to its importance in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis. Lab Invest 2002;82:1451–1461.
  16. Smith Pease CK, White IR, Basketter DA: Skin as a route of exposure to protein allergens. Clin Exp Dermatol 2002;27:296–300.
  17. Bohle B, Schwihla H, Hu HZ, Friedl-Hajek R, Sowka S, Ferreira F, Breiteneder H, Bruijnzeel-Koomen CA, de Weger RA, Mudde GC, Ebner C, Van Reijsen FC: Long-lived Th2 clones specific for seasonal and perennial allergens can be detected in blood and skin by their TCR-hypervariable regions. J Immunol 1998;160:2022–2027.
  18. Langeland T, Braathen LB, Borch M: Studies of atopic patch tests. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh) 1989;144:105–109.
  19. Werfel T, Kapp A: Environmental and other major provocation factors in atopic dermatitis. Allergy 1998;53:731–739.
  20. Bruijnzeel PL, Kuijper PH, Kapp A, Warringa RA, Betz S, Bruijnzeel-Koomen CA: The involvement of eosinophils in the patch test reaction to aeroallergens in atopic dermatitis: its relevance for the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis. Clin Exp Allergy 1993;23:97–109.
  21. Darsow U, Vieluf D, Ring J: The atopy patch test: an increased rate of reactivity in patients who have an air-exposed pattern of atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol 1996;135:182–186.
  22. Darsow U, Behrendt H, Ring J: Gramineae pollen as trigger factors of atopic eczema: evaluation of diagnostic measures using the atopy patch test. Br J Dermatol 1997;137:201–207.
  23. Darsow U, Vieluf D, Ring J: Evaluating the relevance of aeroallergen sensitization in atopic eczema with the atopy patch test: a randomized, double-blind multicenter study. Atopy Patch Test Study Group. J Am Acad Dermatol 1999;40:187–193.
  24. Imokawa G, Abe A, Jin K, Higaki Y, Kawashima M, Hidano A: Decreased level of ceramides in stratum corneum of atopic dermatitis: an etiologic factor in atopic dry skin? J Invest Dermatol 1991;96:523–526.
  25. Cheng YF, Dovichi NJ: Subattomole amino acid analysis by capillary zone electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence. Science 1988;242:562–564.
  26. Fischer M, Costanzo U, Hoffmann U, Bollinger A, Franzeck UK: Flow velocity of cutaneous lymphatic capillaries in patients with primary lymphedema. Int J Microcirc Clin Exp 1997;17:143–149.
  27. Zeng H, MacAulay C, McLean DI, Palcic B: Spectroscopic and microscopic characteristics of human skin autofluorescence emission. Photochem Photobiol 1995;61:639–645.
  28. Simon GA, Maibach HI: The pig as an experimental animal model of percutaneous permeation in man: qualitative and quantitative observations – an overview. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2000;13:229–234.
  29. Benech-Kieffer F, Wegrich P, Schwarzenbach R, Klecak G, Weber T, Leclaire J, Schaefer H: Percutaneous absorption of sunscreens in vitro: interspecies comparison, skin models and reproducibility aspects. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2000;13:324–335.
  30. Schmook FP, Meingassner JG, Billich A: Comparison of human skin or epidermis models with human and animal skin in in-vitro percutaneous absorption. Int J Pharm 2001;215:51–56.
  31. Sekkat N, Kalia YN, Guy RH: Biophysical study of porcine ear skin in vitro and its comparison to human skin in vivo. J Pharm Sci 2002;91:2376–2381.
  32. Weigmann HJ, Lademann J, Meffert H, Schaefer H, Sterry W: Determination of the horny layer profile by tape stripping in combination with optical spectroscopy in the visible range as a prerequisite to quantify percutaneous absorption. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 1999;12:34–45.
  33. Lindemann U, Wilken K, Weigmann HJ, Schaefer H, Sterry W, Lademann J: Quantification of the horny layer using tape stripping and microscopic techniques. J Biomed Opt 2003;8:601–607.
  34. Lindemann U, Weigmann HJ, Schaefer H, Sterry W, Lademann J: Evaluation of the pseudo-absorption method to quantify human stratum corneum removed by tape stripping using protein absorption. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2003;16:228–236.
  35. Weigmann HJ, Lindemann U, Antoniou C, Tsikrikas GN, Stratigos AI, Katsambas A, Sterry W, Lademann J: UV/VIS absorbance allows rapid, accurate, and reproducible mass determination of corneocytes removed by tape stripping. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2003;16:217–227.
  36. Jacobi U, Meykadeh N, Sterry W, Lademann J: Effect of the vehicle on the amount of stratum corneum removed by tape stripping. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 2003;1:884–889.
  37. Jacobi U, Weigmann HJ, Ulrich J, Sterry W, Lademann J: Estimation of the relative stratum corneum amount removed by tape stripping. Skin Res Technol 2005;11:91–96.
  38. Lademann J, Richter H, Otberg N, Lawrenz F, Blume-Peytavi U, Sterry W: Application of a dermatological laser scanning confocal microscope for investigation in skin physiology. Laser Physics 2003;13:756–760.

    External Resources

  39. Surber C, Schwarb FP, Smith EW: Tape-stripping technique; in Bronaugh RL, Maibach HI (eds): Percutaneous Adsorption. Drugs and the Pharmaceutical Sciences, ed 3. New York, Dekker, 1999, vol 97, pp 395–409.
  40. Lademann J, Weigmann H, Rickmeyer C, Barthelmes H, Schaefer H, Mueller G, Sterry W: Penetration of titanium dioxide microparticles in a sunscreen formulation into the horny layer and the follicular orifice. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 1999;12:247–256.
  41. Otberg N: Follikelpenetration – Penetrationsverhalten topisch applizierter Substanzen in den Haarfollikel; thesis, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2003.
  42. Lademann J, Otberg N, Richter H, Weigmann HJ, Lindemann U, Schaefer H, Sterry W: Investigation of follicular penetration of topically applied substances. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2001;14(suppl 1):17–22.
  43. Silvestre MA, Saeed AM, Cervera RP, Escriba MJ, Garcia-Ximenez F: Rabbit and pig ear skin sample cryobanking: effects of storage time and temperature of the whole ear extirpated immediately after death. Theriogenology 2003;59:1469–1477.
  44. Ogiso T, Iwaki M, Yoneda I, Horinouchi M, Yamashita K: Percutaneous absorption of elcatonin and hypocalcemic effect in rat. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1991;39:449–453.
  45. Ogiso T, Paku T, Iwaki M, Tanino T: Percutaneous penetration of fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextrans and the mechanism for enhancement effect of enhancers on the intercellular penetration. Biol Pharm Bull 1995;18:1566–1571.
  46. Ogiso T, Shiraki T, Okajima K, Tanino T, Iwaki M, Wada T: Transfollicular drug delivery: penetration of drugs through human scalp skin and comparison of penetration between scalp and abdominal skins in vitro. J Drug Target 2002;10:369–378.
  47. Rougier A, Lotte C, Maibach HI: In vivo percutaneous penetration of some organic compounds related to anatomic site in humans: predictive assessment by the stripping method. J Pharm Sci 1987;76:451–454.
  48. Scheuplein RJ: Mechanism of percutaneous absorption. 2. Transient diffusion and the relative importance of various routes of skin penetration. J Invest Dermatol 1967;48:79–88.
  49. Mackee GM, Sulzberger MB, Herrmann F, Baer RL: Histologic studies on percutaneous penetration with special reference to the effect of vehicles. J Invest Dermatol 1945;6:43–61.

    External Resources

  50. Ciotti SN, Weiner N: Follicular liposomal delivery systems. J Liposome Res 2002;12:143–148.
  51. Janssens V, Morren M, Dooms-Goossens A, Degreef H: Protein contact dermatitis: myth or reality? Br J Dermatol 1995;132:1–6.
  52. Kanerva L, Vanhanen M: Occupational protein contact dermatitis from glucoamylase. Contact Dermatitis 1999;41:171–173.
  53. Bos JD, Meinardi MM: The 500 Dalton rule for the skin penetration of chemical compounds and drugs. Exp Dermatol 2000;9:165–169.
  54. Moresi JM, Horn TD: Distribution of Langerhans cells in human hair follicle. J Cutan Pathol 1997;24:636–640.
  55. Bruynzeel-Koomen C, Van Wichen DF, Toonstra J, Berrens L, Bruynzeel PL: The presence of IgE molecules on epidermal Langerhans cells in patients with atopic dermatitis. Arch Dermatol Res 1986;278:199–205.
  56. Turjanmaa K: Allergy to natural rubber latex: a growing problem. Ann Med 1994;26:297–300.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50