A hapten (DNP) model of topically induced ocular anaphylaxis has been developed. Rats immunized with DNP-Ascaris were skin-tested with DNP-bovine serum albumin (DNP-BSA) and Evans blue and challenged topically with varying amounts of di-DNP-lysine. The degree of clinical conjunctival edema was assessed, and eye tissues were evaluated histologically. Clinical conjunctival edema and histologic mast cell degranulation increased with higher concentration of di-DNP-lysine. In general, rats with positive skin tests showed more clinical conjunctival edema and more mast cell degranulation than those with negative skin tests. Three other groups of rats with positive skin tests to the DNP-BSA were injected intravenously with 125I-BSA and challenged topically with di-DNP-lysine. Retention of 125I-BSA in ocular adnexa and in globes was higher in di-DNP-lysine- than in PBS-challenged eyes. The hapten model simulates the ocular component of human hay fever in that ocular anaphylaxis is induced in immunized rats by topical challenge with antigen alone.