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Cancer Res. 1993 Feb 15;53(4):728-32.

Tumor necrosis factor alpha polymorphism correlates with deleterious effects of ultraviolet B light on cutaneous immunity.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33136.


Intradermally injected tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mimics the effects of UV B light (UVB) radiation and neutralizing anti-TNF-alpha antibodies abolish the deleterious effects of UVB on induction of contact hypersensitivity suggesting that TNF-alpha is the major mediator of UVB effects on cutaneous immunity. In the present study we have shown that in lipopolysaccharide-sensitive inbred strains of mice, the ability of acute, low-dose UVB radiation to impair the induction of contact hypersensitivity to dinitrofluorobenzene is genetically determined by polymorphic alleles at the Tnf alpha locus. We have analyzed by the sequence analysis and restriction fragment length polymorphism the Tnf alpha alleles of numerous inbred strains expressing UVB susceptibility (UVB-S) and UVB-resistance (UVB-R). The Tnf alpha alleles of all UVB-R, but not UVB-S, strains contain a BamHI site in the first intron. Moreover, the 5' regulatory region of the Tnf alpha allele of UVB-R mice possesses a (CA)14 minirepeat that is located immediately 5' of the cytokine response element nearest the tumor-associated transplantation antigen box. By contrast, the Tnf alpha alleles of UVB-S mice display repeats of < > 14 at this site. It is proposed that the unique microsatellite of UVB-R mice impairs transcriptional efficiency at Tnf alpha compared to UVB-S mice and that the quantitative difference in Tnf alpha produced intracutaneously in response to UVB radiation accounts for the phenotypic traits of UVB-R and UVB-S.

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