In certain cell types, it has been found that, hexavalent chromium could increase ROS formation, activate cell signaling and stimulate the release of cytokines. But, in keratinocytes, these effects have not yet fully been demonstrated. Our aim is to observe the above effects of hexavalent chromium on keratinocytes. By utilizing HaCaT cells and the skin of albino guinea pigs, we showed that hexavalent chromium could increase ROS formation, activate the Akt, NF-kB, and MAPK pathways as well as increase the production of cytokines, including TNF-α and IL-1α. The release of these cytokines from keratinocytes is considered to be a key participant in the pathogenesis of contact hypersensitivity. Among cement workers, chromium hypersensitivity is an important occupational skin disease issue. Therefore, the observations of our study help us better understand the role of hexavalent chromium on the development of chromium hypersensitivity, which might provide clues for clinicians in the development of chemopreventative agents for the prevention of chromium hypersensitivity among cement workers.
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