Impaired immunosuppressive response to ultraviolet radiation in interleukin-10-deficient mice

J Invest Dermatol. 1996 Oct;107(4):553-7. doi: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12582809.


Exposure to mid-range ultraviolet radiation (UVR) [280-320 nm, ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation] inhibits the acquisition of delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice and contact hypersensitivity in rodents and humans. Intraperitoneal administration of interleukin 10 (IL-10) inhibits the sensitization of mice to alloantigens for a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction and administration of neutralizing antibodies to IL-10 largely, but not totally, blocks the UVR-mediated suppression of the ability to sensitize mice. This suggests that these inhibitory effects of UVB radiation may be mediated by release of IL-10. To test this hypothesis directly, IL-10 gene-targeted (IL-10T) mice lacking expression of IL-10 were examined for the ability of UVB radiation to suppress induction of delayed-type hypersensitivity to alloantigens. IL-10T mice were completely resistant to UVB-induced immunosuppression in this system. Interestingly, UVB radiation could suppress in IL-10T mice the induction of contact hypersensitivity to a hapten applied to the skin at a site distant of irradiation, supporting the concept that regulation pathways of delayed-type hypersensitivity and contact hypersensitivity responses by UVR differ. These data provide additional understanding of the mechanisms of immunosuppression induced by UVR and suggest that IL-10 release subsequent to UVB radiation may play a role in the growth immunogenic UVB-induced cutaneous malignancies in the primary host.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dermatitis, Contact / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / immunology
  • Gene Targeting
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
  • Immunosuppression*
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / deficiency*
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Isoantigens
  • Interleukin-10