• W. L. Morison
  • J. A. Parrish
Part of the Photobiology book series (PB)


Photoimmunology is the study of the interaction between nonionizing radiation and the immune system, a meeting point of the sciences of photobiology and immunology. It is only within the last decade that the potential importance of interactions between nonionizing radiation and the immune system has begun to be appreciated. Most studies prior to that time were conducted by biologists who examined the effects of in vitro exposure to UVC (254 nm) radiation on components of the immune system. It was demonstrated that exposure to such radiation could influence the function of antibodies, decrease the viability and alter the function of lymphocytes, and increase the antigenicity of DNA. At the same time, dermatologists and other physicians were making clinical observations related to photoimmunology—for example, photosensitivity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—and were mostly interested in longer and more penetrating wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The relationships between the in vitro observations of biologists and in vivo clinical studies were often not fully appreciated. However, recent studies have shown that the biologic effects of UVC and of longer wavelengths of UV radiation are often similar; therefore, the early in vitro observations can be important in our understanding of the effects of nonionizing radiation on the immune system in vivo.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Mast Cell Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Acta Derm Polymorphous Light Eruption 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. L. Morison
    • 1
  • J. A. Parrish
    • 2
  1. 1.National Cancer InstituteFrederick Cancer Research FacilityFrederickUSA
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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