Mast cells in UV-B-induced immunosuppression

Prue H. Hart, Michele A. Grimbaldeston, John J. Finlay-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Degranulating dermal mast cells in UV B-irradiated skin have been implicated for many years in the mechanisms of irradiation erythema. There is now considerable evidence that dermal mast cells are important to the processes by which both UV-B radiation and cis-urocanic acid (cis-UCA) suppress immune responses to sensitizing antigens applied to non-irradiated/non-cis-UCA-exposed sites. Mast-cell-depleted mice are resistant to the immunosuppressive effects of UV-B radiation and cis-UCA for 'systemic' immunomodulation. However, these mice gain responsiveness if the dorsal skin is reconstituted six weeks prior to irradiation or cis-UCA administration at that site with cultured bone-marrow-derived mast cells from +/+ mice. The molecular triggers for initiating mast-cell degranulation are being actively sought. Evidence suggests that histamine, and not tumour necrosis factor α, is the major mast-cell product that signals altered immune responses to sensitizing antigens applied to non-irradiated, non-cis-UCA-exposed sites. Histamine may have multiple roles, but experiments with indomethacin administered to mice have shown that one process involves induction of prostanoid production. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2000
Externally publishedYes


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