The effects of sunscreens on UVB erythema and Langerhans cell depression.J Dermatol. 1994 Sep; 21(9):645-51.JD
Langerhans cells (LCs) are epidermal antigen-presenting cells capable of initiating a specific T lymphocyte-mediated immune response. It is a well known fact that ultraviolet light B (UVB) suppresses LC number and function. In this study, we confirmed that the sunscreens CITY BLOCK, and TOTAL SUN SHIELD 28 (Clinique Laboratories Tokyo, Japan) protected the epidermis against the depletion of LC number. We also investigated whether or not sunscreens could provide LC protection from ultraviolet ray (UVR) damage other than the prevention of the decrease in the total number of cells. Our data showed that the LC population was depressed after irradiation by 100 mJ/cm2 or 10 mJ/cm2 of UVB, but recovered to within normal levels after 16 days. Both sunscreens provided protection against erythema and LC depression due to UVB irradiation. However, despite the fact that these sunscreens had completely suppressed UVB erythema, shrinkage of LC dendrites was seen. Apparently, sunscreens prevent UVB erythema, but do not protect against functional changes in LC due to UVB. Recently, it has been reported that sunscreens are less effective in protecting against systemic immunosuppression that against inflammation. The shrinkage of LC dendrites despite sunscreen application may help explain this discrepancy.