U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Share This:

Sodium metasilicate hypersensitivity in BALB/c mice

Karrow NA, Guo TL, Leffel EK, Zhang LX, McCay JA, Germolec DR, White KL Jr.
Am J Contact Dermat (2002) DOI: PMID: 12165932



BACKGROUND: Sodium metasilicate (SMS) is a key ingredient for a number of industrial and consumer products. Although little is known about potential for this chemical to cause allergic reactions, a similar silicate compound, sodium silicate, was reported to elicit IgE-mediated contact urticaria. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential for sodium metasilicate to elicit an allergic response in female BALB/c mice after dermal exposure. METHODS: The primary irritancy assay (IA), local lymph node assay (LLNA), and a mouse ear swelling test (MEST) were used to evaluate the hypersensitivity response elicited by SMS exposure. An evaluation of lymph node subpopulations, cytokine mRNA expression, and serum IgE levels was also conducted. RESULTS: SMS caused significant dermal irritation at concentrations >or=6% and an allergic response after mice were sensitized with 4% SMS then challenged with 6% SMS in the MEST. Lymph node cell proliferation was not observed in the LLNA after treatment with SMS (2% to 6% SMS). Increases in lymph node cellularity, the percentage of B cells, and the expression of certain cytokine mRNAs were observed in mice treated with SMS. Changes in the concentration of serum IgE after SMS treatment, however, were not observed. CONCLUSIONS: SMS appears to elicit a chemical hypersensitivity response in mice, as indicated by the MEST, but not by the LLNA. Increases in auricular lymph node cellularity, the percentage of B cells, and certain cytokine mRNAs support classifying SMS as a weak chemical allergen.