Action Spectra: Emphasis Mammalian Cells

  • Thomas P. Coohill
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 7)


The utility of action spectroscopy to study responses of biological cells and tissues is firmly established (Jagger, 1967). At a minimum, a carefully completed action spectrum can assess the amount of biological effect as a function of wavelength. While action spectra are of intrinsic value, providing experimental assessment of the consequences of exposure to electromagnetic radiation, in addition, regulations that set standards for radiation exposure must be based on such biological data. Beyond the need for action spectra in health and regulation lies a more fundamental question frequently addressed by workers in this field, i.e., what is the “target” molecule for each observed effect? The “target” is not always obvious from the details of the action spectrum observed. Although it is possible that the measured effect has the same wavelength dependence as the absorption spectrum for an identifiable, important cellular molecule (Gates, 1930) action spectra, especially in complex systems, often cannot be simply superimposed on the absorption spectrum of a known molecule (Todd et al., 1968).


Action Spectrum Wavelength Dependence Xeroderma Pigmentosum Chinese Hamster Cell Action Spectroscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Coohill, T. P., S. P. Moore and S. Drake. 1977. The wavelength dependence of ultraviolet inactivation of host capacity in a mammalian cell-virus system. Photochem. Photobiol. 26: 387–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coohill, T. P. and L. James. 1979. The wavelength dependence of 8-methoxypsoralen photosensitization of host capacity inactivation in a mammalian cellvirus system. Photochem. Photobiol. 30: 243–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chu, E. H. Y. 1965. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on mammalian cells. I. Induction of chromosome aberrations. Mutat. Res. 2: 75–94.Google Scholar
  4. Elkind, M. M., A. Han, and C. Liu. 1978. Sunlight-induced mammalian cell killing: A comparative study of ultraviolet and near ultraviolet inactivation. Photochem. Photobiol. 27: 709–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Freeman, R. G., H. T. Hudson, and K. Carnes. 1970. Ultraviolet wavelength factors in solar radiation and skin cancer. Int. J. Dermatol. 9: 232–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gates, F. L. 1930. A study of the bacteriocidal action of ultraviolet light. I. The reaction of monochromatic radiations. H. The effect of various environmental factors and conditions. J. Gen. Physiol. 14: 31–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jacobson, E. 1980. Personal communication.Google Scholar
  8. Jagger, J. 1967. Introduction to Research in Ultraviolet Photobiology, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.Google Scholar
  9. James, L., and T. P. Coohill. 1979. The wavelength dependence of 8-methoxypsoralen photosensitization of radiation enhanced reactivation in a mammalian cell-virus system. Mutat. Res. 62: 407–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kantor, G., J. Sutherland and R. Setlow. 1980. Action spectra for killing non-dividing normal human and xerodermaigmentosum cells. Photochem. Photobiol. 31: 459–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Moore, S. P. and T. P. Coohill. 1980. UV radiation activation of latent tumor viruses from mammalian cells: A wavelength dependence and enhanced activation with 8-methoxypsoralen. 2nd symposium of Light Effects in Biological Systems. HEW-FDA-BRH-DBE. Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  12. Rothman, R. and R. B. Setlow. 1979. An action spectrum for cell killing and pyrimidine dimer formation in Chinese hamster V-79 cells. Photochem. Photobiol. 29: 57–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Todd, P., T. P. Coohill and J. A. Mahoney. 1968. Responses of cultured chinese hamster cells to ultraviolet light of different wavelengths. Radiat. Res. 35: 390–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Tyrrell, R. 1980. 8th Int. Cong. of Photobiol., Strausbourg, France.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas P. Coohill
    • 1
  1. 1.Biophysics ProgramWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA

Personalised recommendations