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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1978 Apr;75(4):1984-8.

Xeroderma pigmentosum neurological abnormalities correlate with colony-forming ability after ultraviolet radiation.


Xeroderma pigmentosum is an autosomal recessive disease in which DNA repair processes are defective. All xeroderma pigmentosum patients develop premature aging of sun-exposed skin, and some develop neurological abnormalities due to premature death of nerve cells. Sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation of 24 xeroderma pigmentosum fibroblast strains was studied in vitro by measuring each strain's ability to divide and form colonies after irradiation. The most sensitive strains were derived from patients who had an early onset of neurological abnormalities; less sensitive strains were from patients with a later onset; and the most resistant strains were from patients without neurological abnormalities. The UV sensitivities of strains from each member of a sibling pair with xeroderma pigmentosum were identical, indicating that UV sensitivity of xeroderma pigmentosum strains is determined by the patient's inherited DNA repair defect. The results suggest that effective DNA repair is required to maintain the functional integrity of the human nervous system by preventing premature death of neurons.

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