Improved protection against solar-simulated radiation-induced immunosuppression by a sunscreen with enhanced ultraviolet A protection.J Invest Dermatol. 2000 Apr; 114(4):620-7.JI
Ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression is thought to play a part in skin cancer. Several studies have indicated that sunscreens that are designed to protect against erythema failed to give comparable protection against ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression. One possible reason for this discrepancy is inadequate ultraviolet A protection. This study evaluated the level of immunoprotection in mice afforded by two broad-spectrum sunscreens with the same sun protection factor, but with different ultraviolet A protection factors. Both sunscreens contained the same ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A filters, in the same vehicle, but at different concentrations. Solar simulated radiation dose-response curves for erythema, edema, and systemic suppression of contact hypersensitivity were generated and used to derive protection factors for each end-point. The results of three different techniques for determining immune protection factor were compared. A comparison of the two sunscreens showed that the protection factor for erythema in mice was similar to that determined in humans (sun protection factor) but the protection factor for edema in mice was lower. Both sunscreens protected against suppression of contact hypersensitivity but the product with the higher ultraviolet A-protection factor showed significantly greater protection. The three techniques for determining immunoprotection gave very similar results for a given sunscreen, but immune protection factor was always lower than sun protection factor. These data suggest that sun protection factor may not predict the ability of sunscreens to protect the immune system and that a measure of ultraviolet A protection may also be necessary.