Whole-body UVB (TL-01) or UVA-1 irradiation does not alter the levels of immunomodulatory cytokines in the serum of human volunteers
Ultraviolet (UV) exposure of mammalian skin induces local and systemic immunosuppression. In mice it has been proposed that systemic immunosuppression is mediated by an UV-induced cytokine cascade involving systemic interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 and a reduction in IL-12 activity. To investigate whether there was a parallel mechanism in humans we examined the effect of whole-body narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) (311–313 nm; TL-01) and ultraviolet A (UVA)-1 (340–400 nm) on serum cytokine levels. Methods/Results:
In a first study, five male psoriatic subjects were whole-body irradiated with three sessions of a standard UVB (TL-01) phototherapy regimen previously shown to cause downregulation of natural killer cell activity and T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) of sera taken before and after the third session showed no effect of phototherapy on IL-10 and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). In a second study, five healthy subjects received three whole-body exposures of UVB (TL-01) and five other healthy subjects received three exposures of UVA-1 on alternate days (total 22 J/cm2). Blood samples were taken before the first irradiation and at 0, 4, 8, 12, 14, 24 and 48 h after the third irradiation. The sera were subsequently analysed for IL-10, IL-12, IL-8, IL-1 and TNF-α, by ELISA. The levels of IL-1 and TNF-α were below detection limits (<5 pg/ml), while no significant change in the levels of IL-10, IL-12 or IL-8 was detected as a result of either TL-01 or UVA-1. Conclusion:
It seems unlikely that a modulation in these circulating cytokines assessed in this study accounts for systemic UV-induced immunosuppression in human subjects.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Photobiology Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK, 2: RIVM, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, 3: Medical Microbiology, University of Edinburgh, UK, and 4: Photobiology Unit, Dermatology Sciences, University of Manchester, Hope Hospital, Manchester, UK
Publication date: April 1, 2004