Journal Article

Carcinogenesis induced by UVA (365-nm) radiation: the dose-time dependence of tumor formation in hairless mice.

A de Laat, J C van der Leun and F R de Gruijl

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 5, pages 1013-1020
Published in print May 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Carcinogenesis induced by UVA (365-nm) radiation: the dose-time dependence of tumor formation in hairless mice.

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Although ultraviolet B (UVB wavelengths 280-315 nm) dominates the carcinogenic effect of sunlight, ultraviolet A (UVA 315-400 nm) is estimated to contribute 10-20% to the carcinogenic dose; a substantial background that is not affected by a depletion of the ozone layer. Furthermore, certain high-power modern tanning lamps emit mainly long wave UVA (UVA1; 340-400 nm). For a proper risk estimate of UVA exposure its carcinogenicity relative to that of UVB exposure needs to be determined more accurately. To this end we determined the dose-time relationship for skin tumor induction in hairless mice that were irradiated daily with custom-made Philips 365-nm sources. Irradiation of the group exposed to the highest of the four daily doses (430, 240, 140 and 75 kJ/m2) had to be discontinued because severe scratching set in after 3 months (no tumors). In the lower dose-groups the prevalence curves for skin carcinomas (percentage of tumor-bearing mice versus logarithm of time) ran virtually parallel, and were similar to those found with daily UVB exposure. However, the relationship between the daily dose (D) and the median tumor induction time (t50) appeared to differ: with UVB we found that t50 D(r) = constant, with r = 0.6, whereas with UVA1 we found r approximately 0.4. This would imply that 365-nm carcinogenesis shows less of a dose-dependency than UVB carcinogenesis, and that 365-nm radiation becomes more carcinogenic, relative to UVB, as the daily doses are lowered. This relative shift at low doses complicates extrapolation of UVB to UVA risks in humans. Based on the t50 from the lowest dose-group we found that the carcinogenicity at 365 nm (per J/m2) is 0.9 x 10(-4) times that at 293 nm, the wavelength of maximum carcinogenicity in hairless mice. This result for 365-nm carcinogenicity falls well within the margins of error of the wavelength dependency that was estimated earlier from experiments with broadband UV sources.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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