Modulation of Immunity by Ultraviolet Radiation: Key Effects on Antigen Presentation

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      In addition to being the major cause of non-melanoma skin cancer, the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) present in sunlight is a potent immunosuppressive agent. Indeed, studies with mice and humans have indicated that the immune suppression induced by UVR is a risk factor for skin cancer development. These observations gave rise to the discipline of photoimmunology, which studies the interaction of electromagnetic radiation, primarily UVB (280–320 nm) light, with the immune system. The focus of this paper will be to review recent studies designed to unravel the mechanisms through which UVR suppresses immune reactivity. Particular emphasis is placed on the effects of UVR on antigen presentation. J Invest Dermatol 105:30S-36S, 1995