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J Immunol. 1995 May 1;154(9):4851-6.

Induction of IL-10 gene expression in human keratinocytes by UVB exposure in vivo and in vitro.

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Dermatology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Numerous studies have demonstrated that ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation has profound effects on the skin and systemic immune systems. Because many of the effects of UVB result in suppression of contact sensitivity responses and because IL-10 induces a Th2 rather than a Th1 response, we sought to determine whether UVB irradiation induces IL-10 transcription and subsequent protein secretion by human epidermal cells. Skin of nine volunteers was exposed to UVB or sham irradiation, and epidermal cell suspensions were prepared from suction blister roofs 24 h thereafter. mRNA was extracted using oligo dT-coated magnetic beads, and IL-10 cDNA was amplified with a sensitive RT-PCR technique. We found that IL-10 was constitutively expressed by epidermal cells in 5 of 9 volunteers and that IL-10 message was up-regulated by UVB exposure in all experiments. Since epidermis consists of a heterogeneous cell population with distinct cytokine profiles, we determined whether UVB caused enhanced IL-10 transcription and protein secretion in human keratinocyte cultures. In these experiments, IL-10 was constitutively expressed by keratinocytes and UVB up-regulated IL-10 gene expression in a dose-dependent manner 24 h after in vitro irradiation, coinciding with IL-10 protein secretion into the culture supernatants. Taken together, the findings indicate that UVB irradiation induces IL-10 in human keratinocytes and suggest that keratinocyte-derived IL-10 may be an important component of the immunosuppression that results from UVB irradiation.

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