UV-B and the immune system. A review with special emphasis on T cell-mediated immunity.
ABSTRACT The immunosuppressive activity of ultraviolet light-B (UV-B) has become a major topic of interest, especially now that there are indications of an increased exposure to UV-B on the earth's surface, caused by a decreased thickness of the ozone layer. This review indicates that the thymus-dependent immune system is a prime target for damage by UV-B. Especially the systemic effects of UV-B on T cell mediated immunity are described and analyzed with respect to the mode of action. In summary, this review demonstrated that UV-B can alter T cell mediated immune responses by different pathways in which cytokines (e.g. TNF-alpha) and other soluble mediators (e.g. cis-urocanic acid) may play a role. Effects of UV-B on the location and morphology of different cells in the skin affect functionality of the immune system. Thus, UV-B may suppress local immunity against skin tumours and skin-associated infections as well as systemic immunity against non skin-associated infectious diseases and tumours.
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ABSTRACT: The ultraviolet B (UVB) waveband within sunlight is an important carcinogen; however, UVA is also likely to be involved. By ascribing mutations to being either UVB or UVA induced, we have previously shown that human skin cancers contain similar numbers of UVB- and UVA-induced mutations, and, importantly, the UVA mutations were at the base of the epidermis of the tumors. To determine whether these mutations occurred in response to UV, we exposed engineered human skin (EHS) to UVA, UVB, or a mixture that resembled sunlight, and then detected mutations by both denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and DNA sequencing. EHS resembles human skin, modeling differential waveband penetration to the basal, dividing keratinocytes. We administered only four low doses of UV exposure. Both UVA and UVB induced p53 mutations in irradiated EHS, suggesting that sunlight doses that are achievable during normal daily activities are mutagenic. UVA- but not UVB-induced mutations predominated in the basal epidermis that contains dividing keratinocytes and are thought to give rise to skin tumors. These studies indicate that both UVA and UVB at physiological doses are mutagenic to keratinocytes in EHS.American Journal Of Pathology 05/2009; 174(4):1534-43. · 4.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To address the role of childhood sun exposure on the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) after controlling for genetic susceptibility, we investigated the association between sun exposure and MS comparing disease-discordant monozygotic (MZ) twins. Twins with MS were sought by yearly newspaper advertisements throughout North America from 1980 to 1992. Diagnosis was verified by updated medical documentation through 2005. This analysis was restricted to 79 disease- and exposure-discordant monozygotic twin pairs who had ranked themselves before 1993 in relation to each of nine childhood sun exposure activities. A sun exposure index (SI) was defined as the sum of those exposures for which one twin ranked higher than his or her co-twin. The SI difference within each twin pair was calculated by subtracting the SI value of the affected twin from the SI value of the unaffected twin (range -9 to +9). The results were then analyzed using conditional logistic models. Result: Each of the nine sun exposure-related activities during childhood seemed to convey a strong protection against MS within MZ twin pairs. Depending on the activity, the odds ratio (OR) ranged from 0.25 to 0.57. For example, the risk of subsequent MS was substantially lower (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.83) for the twin who spent more time suntanning in comparison with the co-twin. For each unit increase in SI, the relative risk of MS decreased by 25%. Early sun avoidance seems to precede the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). This protective effect is independent of genetic susceptibility to MS.Neurology 08/2007; 69(4):381-8. · 8.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Periodic episodes of increased sunspot activity (solar electromagnetic storms) occur with 10-11 and 5-6 year periodicities and may be associated with measurable biological events. We investigated whether this sunspot periodicity characterized the incidence of Pap smear-determined cervical epithelial histopathologies and human physiologic functions. From January 1983 through December 2003, monthly averages were obtained for solar flux and sunspot numbers; six infectious, premalignant and malignant changes in the cervical epithelium from 1,182,421 consecutive, serially independent, screening Pap smears (59°9″N, 4°29″E); and six human physiologic functions of a healthy man (oral temperature, pulse, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiration, and peak expiratory flow), which were measured ∼5 times daily during ∼34,500 self-measurement sessions (44°56″N, 93°8″W). After determining that sunspot numbers and solar flux, which were not annually rhythmic, occurred with a prominent 10-year and a less-prominent 5.75-year periodicity during this 21-year study span, each biological data set was analyzed with the same curve-fitting procedures. All six annually rhythmic Pap smear-detected infectious, premalignant and malignant cervical epithelial pathologies showed strong 10-year and weaker 5.75-year cycles, as did all six self-measured, annually rhythmic, physiologic functions. The phases (maxima) for the six histopathologic findings and five of six physiologic measurements were very near, or within, the first two quarters following the 10-year solar maxima. These findings add to the growing evidence that solar magnetic storm periodicities are mirrored by cyclic phase-locked rhythms of similar period length or lengths in human physiology and pathophysiology.Astrobiology 03/2011; 11(2):93-103. · 2.80 Impact Factor