1. Additional evidence is presented in support of the view which postulates a close chemical and biologic relation between the active ingredients in poison ivy and Japan lac.

2. Biologic evidence, based on the use of the patch test in man, is presented in support of the view that the active ingredient in poison ivy is a catechol derivative with a long, unsaturated side-chain in the 3-position.

3. Of the catechol compounds and derivatives studied, group reactions in patients sensitive to poison ivy leaves or extract were exhibited by the following compounds: 3-pentadecyl catechol (100 per cent of 21 cases), 4-pentadecyl catechol (38 per cent of 21 cases), "urushiol" dimethyl ether (33 per cent of 33 cases), 3-pentadecenyl-1'-veratrole (21 per cent of 14 cases), 3-methyl catechol (14 per cent of 21 cases), and hydrourushiol dimethyl ether (10 per cent of 20 cases). It has been found that 3-geranyl catechol shows a practically constant group reactivity in persons sensitive to poison ivy.

4. The uniformly positive group reaction to 3-pentadecyl catechol is notable since this substance possesses a saturated side-chain, whereas the active ingredient in poison ivy is known to have an unsaturated side-chain.

5. The group reactivity was not restricted to the 3-position, for in some instances 4-pentadecyl catechol also gave group reactions which, however, were less intense and less frequent than those shown by 3-pentadecyl catechol. This indicates that in some cases a long side-chain in the 4 position may be effective in producing group specific reactions.

6. Only an occasional person showed sensitiveness to 3-methyl catechol (short side-chain), and in one instance the group reactivity appeared to be specific for the 3-position.

7. The position of the side-chain in the catechol configuration has some bearing on the degree and incidence of group reactions in persons hypersensitive to poison ivy.

8. Evidence is presented to indicate that the introduction of double bonds in the alkyl side-chain increases the incidence and intensity of group reactions.

9. Methylating the hydroxyl groups in the catechol configuration diminishes strongly the incidence of group reactivity but does not eliminate it entirely in persons hypersensitive to poison ivy. Thus, "urushiol" dimethyl ether (3-pentadecadienyl veratrole) gave group reactions in 33 per cent of 33 persons.

10. Methylating the hydroxyl groups as well as saturating the double bonds in the alkyl side-chain still further diminishes the group reactions but an occasional person hypersensitive to poison ivy may still show positive reaction to such a substance as 3-pentadecyl veratrole (hydrourushiol dimethyl ether). In this respect our results are not in full agreement with those recorded by Toyama who stated that hydrourushiol dimethyl ether is entirely harmless.

11. The significance of the group reactivity displayed by certain veratrole compounds is discussed, and several possible explanations of their behavior are advanced.

12. The group reactions discussed in this paper relate only to various catechol and veratrole compounds. Preliminary studies by us indicate that this sensitiveness extends to other phenolic derivatives.

13. Among the veratrole compounds showing positive reactions, the order of frequency and intensity was: (1) "urushiol" dimethyl ether (average of two double bonds); (2) S-pentadecenyl-1'-veratrole (one double bond); (3) hydrourushiol dimethyl ether (saturated side-chain). It may be noted that 4-pentadecyl veratrole was inactive.

This content is only available as a PDF.