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Cancer Cell Int. 2011 Jun 6;11(1):16. doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-11-16.

In vivo UVA irradiation of mouse is more efficient in promoting pulmonary melanoma metastasis than in vitro.

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Non-Ionizing Radiation Laboratory, STUK-Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Laippatie 4, FIN-00880, Helsinki, Finland.



We have previously shown in vitro that UVA increases the adhesiveness of mouse B16-F1 melanoma cells to endothelium.We have also shown in vivo that UVA exposure of C57BL/6 mice, i.v. injected with B16-F1 cells, increases formation of pulmonary colonies of melanoma. The aim of the present animal study was to confirm the previously observed in vivo UVA effect and to determine whether in vitro UVA-exposure of melanoma cells, prior the i.v. injection, will have an enhancing effect on the pulmonary colonization capacity of melanoma cells. As a second aim, UVA-derived immunosuppression was determined.


Mice were i.v. injected with B16-F1 cells into the tail vein and then immediately exposed to UVA. Alternatively, to study the effect of UVA-induced adhesiveness on the colonization capacity of B16-F1 melanoma, cells were in vitro exposed prior to i.v. injection. Fourteen days after injection, lungs were collected and the number of pulmonary nodules was determined under dissecting microscope. The UVA-derived immunosuppression was measured by standard contact hypersensitivity assay.


Obtained results have confirmed that mice, i.v. injected with B16-F1 cells and thereafter exposed to UVA, developed 4-times more of melanoma colonies in lungs as compared with the UVA non-exposed group (p < 0.01). The in vitro exposure of melanoma cells prior to their injection into mice, led only to induction of 1.5-times more of pulmonary tumor nodules, being however a statistically non-significant change. The obtained results postulate that the UVA-induced changes in the adhesive properties of melanoma cells do not alone account for the 4-fold increase in the pulmonary tumor formation. Instead, it suggests that some systemic effect in a mouse might be responsible for the increased metastasis formation. Indeed, UVA was found to induce moderate systemic immunosuppression, which effect might contribute to the UVA-induced melanoma metastasis in mice lungs.

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