Sunscreens and T4N5 liposomes differ in their ability to protect against ultraviolet-induced sunburn cell formation, alterations of dendritic epidermal cells, and local suppression of contact hypersensitivity.J Invest Dermatol. 1995 Feb; 104(2):287-92.JI
Exposure of skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to diverse biologic effects, including inflammation, sunburn cell formation, alterations of cutaneous immune cells, and impaired induction of contact hypersensitivity responses. The molecular mechanisms of these UV-induced effects are not completely understood. We investigated the ability of sunscreens and liposomes containing the DNA excision repair enzyme T4 endonuclease V to prevent these effects of UV radiation. The use of T4N5 liposomes, which increase the repair of cyclobutyl pyrimidine dimers, provides an approach for assessing the role of DNA damage in the effects of UV radiation on the skin. Exposing C3H mice to 500 mJ/cm2 UVB radiation from FS40 sunlamps resulted in skin edema, sunburn cell formation, and morphologic alterations and decreased numbers of Langerhans cells and Thy-1+ dendritic epidermal T cells. In addition, the induction of contact hypersensitivity after application of 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene on UV-irradiated skin was diminished by 80%. Applying sunscreens containing octyl-N-dimethyl-p-aminobenzoate, 2-ethylhexyl-p-methoxycinnamate, or benzophenone-3 before this dose of UV irradiation gave nearly complete protection against all of these effects of UV irradiation. In contrast, topical application of T4N5 liposomes after UV irradiation had no effect on UV-induced skin edema and only partially protected against sunburn cell formation and local suppression of contact hypersensitivity, although its ability to protect against alterations in dendritic immune cells was comparable to that of the sunscreens. These results suggest that DNA damage is involved in only some of the local effects of UV radiation on the skin. In addition, T4N5 liposomes may be a useful adjunct to sunscreens because they can reduce some of the deleterious effects of UV radiation on skin even after a sunburn has been initiated.