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J Invest Dermatol. 2002 Dec;119(6):1220-3.

Low-dose ultraviolet B rays alter the mRNA expression of the circadian clock genes in cultured human keratinocytes.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Current understanding of mammalian circadian rhythms suggests that they are regulated by light targeting signaling pathways in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei. Recently, investigators have identified the existence of extraretinal photoreceptors and a potential role for the skin in this regulatory process has been implied. We demonstrated that mRNA of the circadian clock genes Per1, Clock, and bmal1/mop3 are expressed in normal human cultured keratinocytes. Low-dose ultraviolet B rays initially downregulate all circadian clock genes and then induce altered expression of the genes in keratinocyte cell cultures. Ultraviolet light targeting superficial layers of skin (keratinocytes) may therefore contribute to circadian rhythm modulation.

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