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Long-wave UVA offers partial protection against UVB-induced immune suppression in human skin

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Ultraviolet-B (UVB, 280–320 nm) interferes with the generation of cell-mediated immunity to contact allergens applied epicutaneously on the irradiated site. To investigate whether pretreatment with UVA-1 (340–400 nm) protects against the UVB-induced immune suppression we sensitized human volunteers with diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) on normal buttock skin (n=12), on UVB-irradiated buttock skin (n=21), on buttock skin pretreated with UVA-1 (n=12), and on buttock skin pretreated with UVA-1 and thereafter irradiated with UVB (n=22). Sensitization on UVB-irradiated skin reduced the immunization rate to DPCP compared with sensitization on non-irradiated skin (p<0.01) and skin pretreated with UVA-1 (p<0.01). In contrast, the immunization rate in the group of volunteers sensitized on skin pretreated with UVA-1 before UVB irradiation was significantly higher than the immunization rate in the group of volunteers sensitized on UVB-irradiated skin alone (p<0.05). These results indicate that pretreatment with UVA-1 under certain conditions offers partial protection against the UVB-induced reduction in the immunization rates to epicutaneous allergens.

Keywords: Contact hypersensivitity; DPCP; UVA-1; tanning

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2: Department of Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark, 3: Department of Dermatology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, 4: St. John's Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, United Kingdom

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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