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J Invest Dermatol. 1977 Oct;69(4):392-400.

Biologic changes due to long-wave ultraviolet irradiation on human skin: ultrastructural study.


Alteration of the skin induced by single and repeated long-wave ultraviolet (UVA) exposures was studied. Following a single exposure to relatively large doses of UVA, pronounced dermal damage was observed. In the papillary dermis, superficial dermal vessels showed widely open endothelial gaps and extravasation of blood cells. Marked changes of fibroblasts were also seen in the superficial dermis. In the reticular dermis, extravascular fibrin deposition was seen. After repeated exposures to UVA the formation of cross-banded filamentous aggregations ("Zebra bodies") was observed in the superficial and reticular dermis. These were often found in amorphous masses surrounding the blood vessels. These striking dermal alterations were absent in skin irradiated by solar stimulating radiation and in control skin. Dyskeratotic "sunburn cells" were occasionally seen in the epidermis after single as well as repeated exposures to UVA. The number of these cells was less than that seen after a single exposure to solar simulating radiation.

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