Total body exposure to ultraviolet radiation does not influence plasma levels of immunoreactive β-endorphin in man

Authors: Wintzen, Marjolein1; Ostijn, Dagmar M. J. D.1; Polderman, Marloes C. A.1; le Cessie, Saskia2; Burbach, J. Peter H.3; Vermeer, Bert Jan1

Source: Photodermatology Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, Volume 17, Number 6, 1 December 2001 , pp. 256-260(5)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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A growing number of reports support evidence of proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides in human skin cells, although not consistently. Also the effect of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on cutaneous and plasma levels of these POMC peptides has not been established unequivocally. We hypothesized that production of β-endorphin (βE) may explain the sense of well-being many people experience when sun-bathing. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exposure of the skin to UVR elevates plasma βE. Method:

Healthy volunteers (n=26) received a single, weighted dose of 15 J/cm2 of UVA. Several times during the hour following irradiation, plasma βE- immunoreactivity (βE-IR) was determined by radioimmunoassay. The effect of repeated exposure wasassessed in 35 patients treated with UVB, UVA, or UVA-1. Plasma ACTH-IR was monitored in parallel. Results:

Overall, plasma levels of βE-IR and ACTH-IR showed no significant changes during the experiment, indicating that these peptides are not influenced by single or repeated exposures to UVR of different wavelengths. Conclusion:

On the basis of these results, the skin does not appear to contribute significantly to the levels of circulating βE or ACTH. These data offer no support for the hypothesis that exposure to UVR leads to an increased concentration of circulating βE, which could contribute to the feeling of well-being that often accompanies sun-bathing.

Keywords: human; plasma; ultraviolet radiation; β-endorphin-immunoreactivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dermatology and 2: Medical Statistics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden and 3: Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neurosciences, Department of Medical Pharmacology, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands

Publication date: December 1, 2001



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