Numbers of murine dermal mast cells remain unchanged during chronic ultraviolet B irradiation

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 1991 Oct;8(5):195-9.


Dermal mast cell numbers reportedly increase in response to chronic ultraviolet irradiation in both humans and in the HRS/Skh-1 mouse model of human photoaging. It has been hypothesized that these increased numbers of mast cells are responsible, at least in part, for the damage in this chronically irradiated or photoaged skin. However, few actual quantitative data have been reported to support this claim of increased dermal mast cell numbers caused by chronic ultraviolet irradiation. We sought to quantify the numbers of dermal mast cells in the skin of chronic ultraviolet-irradiated and control HRS/Skh-1 hairless mice. Dermal mast cells from irradiated and age-matched control mice were quantified by digital image analysis during a 20-week period of exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. During the entire course of irradiation, there was no difference in the numbers of dermal mast cells between the irradiated and nonirradiated age-matched control mice. Visible physical evidence of the effects of chronic UVB irradiation, i.e., skin wrinkling, was evident after 6 weeks of treatment. The numbers of dermal mast cells in unirradiated age-matched NSA (CF-1) haired mice were three- to four-fold lower than those in either ultraviolet-exposed or unexposed HRS/Skh-1 mice. These findings indicate that dermal mast cell numbers in HRS/Skh-1 mice are not increased by chronic exposure to UVB radiation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mast Cells / physiology
  • Mast Cells / radiation effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays*