Ultrastructural changes in the dorsal skin of Wistar-derived hypotrichotic WBN/ILA-Ht rats following UVA-irradiation

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2003 Sep;55(2-3):147-52. doi: 10.1078/0940-2993-00304.


Ultrastructual characteristics of the dorsal skin responses to a single irradiation of UVA (1100 kJ/m2) were examined in Wistar-derived hypotichotic WBN/ILA-Ht rats (HtRs). In the epidermis, mitochondrial swelling of some keratinocytes and dissociation of keratinocytes due to intercellular edema developed at 3 hours (h) after irradiation and continued to 48 h. At 6 h, in addition to these changes, necrosis of keratinocytes accompanied with infiltration of neutrophils was also observed in some portions, and epidermal hyperplasia with many keratinocytes showing nucleolar hypertrophy and some mitotic keratinocytes was observed at 48 h. In the dermis, mitochondrial swelling and/or partial cytoplasmic destruction in capillary endothelial cells and edema with inflammatory cell infiltration were observed at and after 3 h, and extravasation of erythrocytes was found in some capillaries at 48 h. Mitochondrial swelling was also frequently found in pericytes and fibroblasts. Inflammatory cells were mainly composed of neutrophils throughout the experimental period. Mild degranulation of mast cells which also showed mitochondrial swelling was observed at and after 3 h, and a close special relationship between mast cells and fibroblasts or neutrophils was sometimes observed. In conclusion, the most prominent change in the dorsal skin of HtRs exposed to UVA was degeneration of capillary endothelial cells, resulting in edema and inflammatory cell infiltration, and the most characteristic cytopathic effect of UVA was mitochondrial swelling, and it was common to keratinocytes, capillary endothelial cells, pericytes, mast cells, and fibroblasts.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Capillaries / radiation effects
  • Cell Degranulation / radiation effects
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / pathology
  • Epidermis / radiation effects
  • Epidermis / ultrastructure
  • Hypotrichosis / congenital
  • Hypotrichosis / pathology*
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects
  • Keratinocytes / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / radiation effects
  • Mast Cells / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitochondria / radiation effects
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Nude
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Skin / ultrastructure
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*