Ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice

Methods. 2002 Sep;28(1):25-33. doi: 10.1016/s1046-2023(02)00207-4.


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation present in sunlight plays a critical role in the initiation and promotion of nonmelanoma skin carcinogenesis and immune suppression. The immune suppressive effects of UV have been identified as a risk factor for skin cancer induction. For these reasons, scientists have focused on elucidating the mechanisms of UV-induced immune suppression to better understand the pathogenesis of skin cancer induction. A hallmark of UV-induced immune suppression is the generation of antigen-specific suppressor T cells. These suppressor cells have been shown to suppress antitumor immunity as well as other cell-mediated responses such as delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions. Due to the excessive cost and time involved in traditional UV carcinogenic experiments, scientists have opted to use UV-induced suppression of DTH reactions as a surrogate model. DTH has been, and continues to be, a widely used assay system to measure in vivo immune function. Although somewhat unsophisticated by today's standards, this assay has great advantages because it presents a fast, inexpensive, and reliable model system to help dissect the mechanisms involved in UV-induced immune suppression. Furthermore, the murine model of DTH enables scientists to perform additional procedures, such as adoptive transfer studies with suppressor T cells, which are currently unavailable with human subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance / radiation effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Ultraviolet Rays*