Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 105–110 | Cite as

Ultraviolet light-induced suppression of antigen presentation

  • C. W. Spellman
  • T. B. Tomasi
Special Article


Ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation of animals results in the development of specific T suppressor cells that inhibit antitumor immune responses. It is thought that suppression may arise as a consequence of altered antigen presentation by UV-irradiated epidermal cells. This hypothesis is based on evidence demonstrating that specific lymphoid tissues from UV-irradiated hosts exhibit impaired antigen-presenting function and that animals cannot be contact sensitized when antigens are applied to a UV-irradiated skin site. Langerhans cells of the skin are likely candidates as targets of UV-induced defects in antigen presentation as they bear Fc and C3b receptors, express Ia antigens, are of bone marrow origin, and are capable of presenting antigenin vitro. We speculate on the possible clinical usefulness of UV-induced tolerance to specific antigens such as those encountered in monoclonal antibody therapy and tissue transplantation.

Key words

Ultraviolet (UV) light radiation antigen-presenting cells Langerhans cells syngeneic UV-induced tumors tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. W. Spellman
    • 1
  • T. B. Tomasi
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Cell Biology and Pathology, Cancer Research and Treatment CenterUniversity of New Mexico, School of MedicineAlbuquerque

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