Ultraviolet (UV) B can lead to inflammatory responses such as sunburn, which involves the production of various inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and the induction of cell death. Keratinocytes in the skin has one of the highest risks of exposure to UV. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying UVB irradiation-induced inflammation and cell death are not well known. Thus, we investigated the effect of UVB irradiation on the production of various cytokines/chemokines and the induction of cell death in UVB-irradiated human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells). We evaluated 11 cytokines/chemokines in cell culture supernatants from HaCaT cells exposed to 0-400 mJ/cm(2) UVB irradiation. UVB at a dose 400 mJ/cm(2) induced the release of various cytokines; interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, interferon (IFN)-gamma, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1beta, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. These results suggest that UVB irradiation-induced the release of several cytokines/chemokines and led to cell death in human keratinocytes. UV exposure may be associated with multiple physiological events in the human skin.