SUPPRESSION OF CONTACT HYPERSENSITIVITY BY UV RADIATION AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO UV-INDUCED SUPPRESSION OF TUMOR IMMUNITY

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Abstract

Abstract— In this study, we examine some of the photobiologic and immunologic characteristics of the suppression of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) by UV radiation. BALB/c mice were irradiated on the shaved dorsal skin with FS40 sunlamps and sensitized 5 days later by applying a contact sensitizer lo the shaved abdomen. The suppression of CHS resulting from exposure to a given total dose of UV radiation was unaffected by changes in dose fractionation over a 5-day period and by changes in dose-rate over a 10-fold range. Elimination of wavelengths below 315 nm with a mylar filter abrogated the suppressive effect of the sunlamps, even when the same total energy was administered. Irradiation of unshaved mice required 14 times more energy to produce 50% suppression than was required for shaved mice, suggesting that the exposed skin is the primary target of this effect. Contact sensitization of UV-irradiated, but not unirradiated, mice induced the appearance of antigen-specific suppressor T lymphocytes in their spleen. The photobiologic and immunologic similarities between the suppression of CHS by UV radiation and the UV-mediated suppression of tumor rejection that we described previously suggest that these two immunosuppressive effects of UV exposure share certain steps in their pathways.

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