Chronic stress accelerates ultraviolet-induced cutaneous carcinogenesis

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Dec;51(6):919-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2004.08.042.


Background: Physical and emotional stressors have been found to mediate a wide variety of biological changes including the facilitation of tumor progression; however most of these paradigms utilized artificial sources of neoplasms and stress.

Methods: Skh mice were exposed to carcinogenic doses of ultraviolet light (UV). The stressed group was subjected to the close proximity of fox urine as a source of stress from the presence of the odor of their natural predator, while the control group remained stress free.

Results: A significant acceleration in the development of cutaneous neoplasms was observed in mice that had been exposed to the stressor. The first tumor appeared in the group after 8 weeks, whereas nonstressed mice began to develop these by week 21.

Conclusion: These results suggest that stress plays a role in potentiating cutaneous carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Stress, Physiological / complications*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*