HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Perfume allergy response, Computer artwork showing the process that produces an allergic reaction to perfume on a woman's skin. The perfume molecules (antigens, white, spherical) cause the release of cytokines (signalling chemicals) that stimulate B-lymphocyte white blood cells (large, round, centre-left) to produce antibodies (Y-shaped). The antibodies travel in the blood stream and are picked up by mast cells (lower centre), which use them to identify the antigens. When the antibodies come into contact with the antigens they bind to them, stimulating the mast cell to release histamine (yellow), which triggers the allergic reaction.
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