Exposure to Solar UVR Suppresses Cell-Mediated Immunization Responses in Humans: The Australian Ultraviolet Radiation and Immunity Study

Ashwin Swaminathan, Simone L. Harrison, Natkunam Ketheesan, Christel H.A. van den Boogaard, Keith Dear, Martin Allen, Prue H. Hart, Matthew Cook, Robyn M. Lucas

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Abstract

Animal and human studies show that exposure to solar-simulated UVR is immunomodulatory. Human studies that used natural sun exposure and controlled for confounding are rare. We immunized 217 healthy adults (age range = 18–40 years) with a T-cell–dependent antigen, keyhole limpet hemocyanin, and measured personal clothing-adjusted UVR exposure (for 5 days before and after immunization), lifetime cumulative UVR exposure, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration at immunization, and potential confounding factors. We tested cellular and humoral immune responses in relation to UVR exposure. The delayed-type hypersensitivity response to keyhole limpet hemocyanin recall challenge was lower in individuals with higher personal clothing-adjusted UVR exposure on the day before immunization (P = 0.015) and during intervals spanning the day before to 2–3 days after immunization. There was an incremental increase in T helper type 17 cells (as a proportion of CD4 + T cells) from preimmunization to postimmunization in the high, compared with the low, personal clothing-adjusted UVR exposure group (0.31% vs. –0.39%, P = 0.004). Keyhole limpet hemocyanin-specific antibody titers were not associated with acute or cumulative UVR exposure or serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Higher UVR exposure at antigen sensitization was associated with a reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity response and altered T helper type 17 kinetics. This has implications for the effectiveness of vaccinations and susceptibility to infections that rely on cell-mediated immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1553.e6
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Early online date23 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Swaminathan, A., Harrison, S. L., Ketheesan, N., van den Boogaard, C. H. A., Dear, K., Allen, M., Hart, P. H., Cook, M., & Lucas, R. M. (2019). Exposure to Solar UVR Suppresses Cell-Mediated Immunization Responses in Humans: The Australian Ultraviolet Radiation and Immunity Study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1545-1553.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2018.12.025