Regulation of human skin pigmentation in situ by repetitive UV exposure: Molecular characterization of responses to UVA and/or UVB

Wonseon Choi, Yoshinori Miyamura, Rainer Wolber, Christoph Smuda, William Reinhold, Hongfang Liu, Ludger Kolbe, Vincent J. Hearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations


UV radiation is a major environmental factor that affects pigmentation in human skin and can eventually result in various types of UV-induced skin cancers. The effects of various wavelengths of UV on melanocytes and other types of skin cells in culture have been studied, but little is known about gene expression patterns in situ following in situ exposure of human skin to different types of UV (UVA and/or UVB). Paracrine factors expressed by keratinocytes and/or fibroblasts that affect skin pigmentation might be regulated differently by UV, as might their corresponding receptors expressed on melanocytes. To test the hypothesis that different mechanisms are involved in the pigmentary responses of the skin to different types of UV, we used immunohistochemical and whole human genome microarray analyses to characterize human skin in situ to examine how melanocyte-specific proteins and paracrine melanogenic factors are regulated by repetitive exposure to different types of UV compared with unexposed skin as a control. The results show that gene expression patterns induced by UVA or UVB are distinctUVB eliciting dramatic increases in a large number of genes involved in pigmentation as well as in other cellular functions, whereas UVA had little or no effect on these. The expression patterns characterize the distinct responses of the skin to UVA or UVB, and identify several potential previously unidentified factors involved in UV-induced responses of human skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1685-1696
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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