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Oncogene. 2003 Sep 25;22(41):6369-76.

Antigen-specific immunity does not mediate acute regression of UVB-induced p53-mutant clones.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520, USA.


Chronic irradiation of human or murine epidermis with ultraviolet B (UVB) induces clones of p53-mutant keratinocytes. Clones precede and parallel the induction of carcinomas, suggesting that they are an early stage of UVB carcinogenesis. In the absence of UVB, these clones rapidly regress. For UVB-induced murine skin tumors and papillomas, regression is known to involve antigen-specific immunity. To determine whether antigen-specific immunity influences the creation, expansion, or regression of p53-mutant clones, we studied Rag1 knockout mice deficient in the recombination activating gene 1 required for development of B, alphabetaT, gammadeltaT, and natural killer T cells. Since tissue homeostasis could affect proliferation or persistence of clones, we also examined the effect of Rag1 on UVB-induced hyperplasia and apoptosis. Mice were irradiated with UVB daily for 7-11 weeks to create p53-mutant clones, and then retained in the absence of UV. After UV ended, epidermal thickness decreased and p53-mutant clones observed in the epidermal sheets regressed, with no significant differences between Rag1(-/-) and wild type. During the initial chronic UVB irradiation, increasing irradiation time increased both the number and size of p53-mutant clones, with no significant difference between genotypes. We conclude that antigen-specific immunity is not involved in the initiation, expansion, or acute regression of p53-mutant clones.

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